Two men accused of selling methamphetamine near the Olympia Transit Center Monday will not be allowed to return within one mile of the downtown bus station as they await the disposition of their cases, a judge ordered Tuesday.
Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim said Tuesday the practice of asking a judge to bar narcotics suspects from returning to the scene of their alleged crimes in downtown Olympia is a new wrinkle in the fight to improve the quality of life there.
"This is part of our overall strategy to reduce the amount of drug dealing going on in our downtown core," Tunheim said.
During Tuesday's court hearing, Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon found probable cause to support the accusation that Heath Merrill, 39 and his alleged police lookout, Wayne McDrummond, 28, committed unlawful delivery of methamphetamine.
Dixon also ordered that the pair not go within one mile of the Olympia Transit Center downtown as they await the disposition of their cases. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Heather Stone requested the measure be added to the conditions of their release.
Merrill, who was allegedly wearing clothing he had purchased with stolen credit cards at the time of his arrest, is additionally accused of second-degree identity theft and eight counts of possession of stolen property.
Members of the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force arrested Merrill and McDrummond Monday after a confidential informant purchased $20 of methamphetamine from Merrill near the Olympia Transit Center at Olympia Avenue and Washington Street, court papers state.
McDrummond acted as a lookout for police during the drug buy, court papers state.
Both Merrill and McDrummond are homeless. Merrill is currently on state Department of Corrections supervision.
Also according to court papers:
As narcotics detectives executed a search warrant on both suspects, they found Merrill was in possession of eight credit cards. Merrill admitted the credit cards did not belong to him, and said a "buddy" gave them to him. A narcotics detective confirmed the credit cards had been stolen the night before from a car parked near the Olympia Yacht Club.
Merrill told the detective he had used to credit cards to purchase clothing he was wearing. He said he shopped at Ross, Target and Home Depot using the credit cards.
Dixon allowed McDrummond to be released on his own recognizance, meaning he does not have to post bail. Dixon set Merrill's bail at $5,000.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445; email@example.com