Detectives accuse couple of selling heroin

OLYMPIAN - Two people were arrested at their downtown Olympia apartment after they twice sold heroin to undercover detectives as part of a Thurston County Narcotics Task Force operation, court papers state.

Family members of the couple said separately in interviews Tuesday that both of the suspects arrested Monday have struggled with addiction.

Matthew Curtis Lindgren, 21, and Julia Marie Bonsell, 22, were arrested on suspicion of two counts of delivery of heroin and two counts of heroin possession with intent to deliver, court papers state.

Also according to court papers:

The couple sold a confidential source about 7 grams of heroin in the last week of November. The couple sold the drug from their apartment above a tavern in the 200 block of Fourth Avenue.

When detectives served a search warrant at the apartment Monday, Bonsell was carrying two individually packaged pieces of black-tar heroin and cash. “A large piece of black-tar heroin” also was located in the apartment, along with a digital scale, pay/owe sheets and cash.

“It should be noted that literally hundreds of dirty hypodermic needles were also located in the apartment,” court papers state.

Kelley McIntosh, pretrial services officer for Thurston County Superior Court, said she interviewed both defendants Tuesday, and they appear to be showing symptoms of withdrawal.

“They are in dire need of treatment,” she said.

According to a pretrial-services report entered in the court file, Lindgren told McIntosh he is unemployed.

“When I inquired as to how Matt paid rent, he told me ‘he sells drugs.’ Matt told me he has a serious drug addiction and is in need of treatment. He expressed some interest in drug court if allowed.”

Lindgren and Bonsell are not eligible for Thurston County Drug Court, Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Toynbee said outside court Tuesday. Drug court is a program that allows some defendants with drug problems to enter addiction programs, undergo psychological counseling and meet certain behavioral standards, such as working and staying sober, in exchange for having their felony charges dismissed. The drug court program also imposes penalties, such as jail time, if sobriety and other benchmarks are not met.

Lindgren and Bonsell are not eligible because of the seriousness of the offenses they will likely be charged with, Toynbee said.

Bonsell’s adoptive mother, Rebecca, said Tuesday during a phone interview from Rochester that Julia has been in treatment four times. She said Julia’s biological mother died of a heroin overdose and that it’s heartbreaking to see Julia follow the same path.

“I love her and I want her to get the help,” Rebecca Bonsell said. “I feel very bad for Julie, but I can’t do the work for her.” Bonsell said her daughter is a “bright, bright girl” and got good grades in high school. She said that when she saw Julia on Thanksgiving Day, she did not show signs of addiction.

“It’s very sad,” she said. “I can’t say she’s running with the wrong crowd, because she is the wrong crowd.”

Lindgren’s father, Myron Ralkey, said he was unaware that his son was using narcotics again. He said Lindgren always had money but did not appear to have a job. He said he’s glad his son is in jail.

Lindgren’s sister, Ashley Freeberg, said her brother used to live with her husband and her at Fort Lewis, but he had to leave because of drug-abuse issues. She said she saw her brother on Thanksgiving Day, and he seemed “completely normal.” Lindgren grew up in Aberdeen, his father said.

Detectives are investigating another suspected heroin dealer who approached an undercover detective in downtown Olympia and offered to sell him heroin while the detective was investigating the suspected heroin sales involving Lindgren and Bonsell, said Lt. Loreli Thompson, the supervisor of the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force.

Toynbee said that there has been a recent increase in court cases involving allegations of drug dealing in downtown Olympia.

“We’re seeing more drug-dealing cases that he police happen by and see out in the open,” he said.

Lindgren and Bonsell were being held Tuesday night at the Thurston County Jail. Bonsell’s bail is set at $5,000; Lindgren’s is $10,000.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465