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Man sold meth in jail, police say

Centralia - As Robert "Robbie" Shawn Russell sat in the Lewis County Jail waiting to face multiple charges on at least three unrelated cases, the Centralia career criminal dealt methamphetamine to fellow inmates, the Lewis County Prosecutor's Office says.

On Friday, Russell, 46, was formally charged in Lewis County Superior Court for delivery of methamphetamine in jail. If he’s convicted, the charge could add 18 months to his pending sentence.

Russell currently faces eight counts of assault, seven counts of kidnapping, and charges for unlawful possession of a firearm and possession and intent to deliver meth.

Russell also is a person of interest in the Aug. 21 triple murder in Salkum. Witness testimony in Lewis County Superior Court documents says Russell sent two men — John Allen Booth, 31, and Ryan J. McCarthy — to collect a debt from 53-year-old David J. West Sr., which led to his death and the deaths of his son, 16-year-old David J. West Jr., and 50-year-old Mineral resident Tony E. Williams. Denise Salts, 51, was critically wounded after being shot in the face.

Russell was detained Aug. 26 in Tumwater by a bail bondsman after the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office began seeking his arrest in connection with the Salkum slayings.

On Sept. 27, jail officials received a tip that an inmate – Timothy Rasmussen – was in possession of meth. Upon a search, he was found to be in possession of a “golf-ball” size amount of methamphetamine.

On Sept. 30, a drug dog was brought into the jail to sniff out more dope. In the tank where both Rasmussen and Russell were housed, officials found 1.9 grams of methamphetamine in possession of Timothy Baloga.

All told, more than 13 grams of meth were discovered, the prosecutor’s office said.

When Baloga was asked how the drugs got into the jail, Baloga said Russell had told him that he had smuggled the dope inside his rectum when he was arrested by the bail bondsman.

Rasmussen also said he received drugs from Russell.

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