Centralia Police Find $30,000 Worth of Drugs in Limo

March 11, 2014 

 

Three sacks of psychedelic mushrooms. An egg carton full of hash oil. Eight pounds of pot. All in one white limousine.

Centralia detectives found nearly $30,000 worth of drugs Monday afternoon, all stashed inside a limousine that police seized last week during a drug bust in Lacey.

Centralia Sgt. Jim Shannon said the Ford Excursion limousine was one of three vehicles impounded last week after investigators from multiple agencies served a search warrant on a residence belonging to a Lacey couple. Centralia police say the couple were working as suppliers to numerous Lewis County drug dealers.

Jai J. Bhagwandin, 39, and 29-year-old Katie Bhagwandin, who also uses the last name of Padilla, were both arrested on felony charges last Thursday at their house on the 6400 block of Stephen Court Southeast, according to Centralia police.

Inside their house, police allegedly found approximately five pounds of suspected marijuana, two pounds of hallucinogenic mushrooms, six ounces of suspected hash oil, prescription pills and less than one pound of MDMA, which is known as ecstasy or "molly," according to police. They also located a firearm, which Bhagwandin is forbidden to possess due to his previous felony convictions, as well as about $16,700 in cash.

They also seized three vehicles police say were likely purchased with drug money.

On Monday, Centralia detective Chad Withrow and Sgt. Jim Shannon were beginning to search those impounded vehicles, starting with the eye-catching limo.

Immediately after opening the back door of the massive vehicle, police found a black bag with suspected drugs inside. Police also searched the seats and ripped off some of the side paneling of the limo to search for additional drugs.

Inside the bag, Shannon said there was three, one-pound bags of mushrooms, valued at an estimated $4,500, eight pounds of marijuana and an egg carton filled with chunks of butane hash oil, which is extremely concentrated THC - the main active ingredient in pot.

A pound of high quality marijuana is valued at approximately $2,500, Shannon said. Eight pounds of it can be worth up to $20,000.

Hash oil, which looks like a dark, sticky substance, is an increasingly popular way to consume marijuana, Shannon said. It is often smoked in E-cigarettes or vaporizers.

A gram of hash oil - which is about the size of a raisin - has an approximate street value of $50. The process of making hash oil from marijuana is extremely dangerous, Shannon said.

While possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal in the state of Washington, possessing and manufacturing butane hash oil is not, Shannon said. Those caught making hash oil can be charged with manufacturing a controlled substance.

Small amounts of drugs found on Monday will be sent to the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory and police will likely refer the Lacey couple for additional drug charges, Shannon said.

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