The Grant County Sheriff’s Office released arrest statistics related to drugs at this year’s Paradiso Festival:
Drug busts #Paradiso2019: 38 drug dealers on 97 felonies. None were simple possession busts. Molly, LSD, shrooms, cocaine, steroid, ketamine, $ and 1 gun. Involved: @GrantCoSheriff, Moses Lake PD, Yakima city & county, Columbia River Drug Task Force, @WSP, Adams County, @HSI.
— Grant County Sheriff (@GrantCoSheriff) June 18, 2019
Thirty eight people were arrested, resulting in ninety seven felony charges – all related to drug-dealing. The sheriff’s office noted that none of the arrested were for “simple possession”, stating that all of the drugs were found in amounts that warranted charges related to dealing. Detectives seized mostly molly (ecstasy), but LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, cocaine, steroids, ketamine, cash and a firearm were also confiscated. There were no deaths this year.
An estimated twenty to twenty five undercover investigators worked the event dressed as concertgoers operating mostly in the campground area. Sheriff’s office spokesperson Kyle Foreman said an increase in undercover detectives at this year’s festival led to more arrests:
Our partnering agencies brought three times the amount of detectives that usually work Paradiso … this was the largest amount of detectives that I’ve seen working at Paradiso … It was a huge operation.
It is worth noting that the agencies brought approximately three times as many undercovers, but the number of arrests did not significantly increase: (see 2018 statistics here):
2018: 30 arrests and 80 criminal charges (types of charges not disclosed)
2019: 38 arrests and 97 felony criminal charges
The arrests were a result of Grant County detectives working with the Washington State Patrol, the Columbia River Drug Task Force, Homeland Security, the Moses Lake and Yakima police departments, the Yakima and Adams county sheriff’s offices and Live Nation.
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