Drug bust at Toppenish motel leads to seizure of fentanyl, meth and firearms

Toppenish
Fentanyl Dea

TOPPENISH, Wash. — D.E.A. agents and tribal police raided an  El Corral Motel room in July, leading to the seizure of fentanyl pills, methamphetamine and a semi-automatic firearm used in a drug trafficking operation.

As announced by U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref, who serves the Eastern District of Washington, 34-year-old Toppenish resident Susen Ann Gorst was indicted by a federal grand jury for a handful of charges including Possession of Fentanyl with the Intent to Distribute, Possession of Methamphetamine with the Intent to Distribute, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking.

Information suggesting that Gorst was supplying fentanyl pills to users across the Yakima area was submitted through a criminal complaint on August 1, 2021. Surveillance was conducted at the aforementioned motel in Toppenish through a collaboration between the D.E.A. and Yakama Nation Police Department.

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A search warrant was executed on July 22, 2022 at one of the rooms at the lodge. Inside the room, which was rented to Gorst, authorities found the drugs and semi-automatic Smith and Wesson firearm.

“When law enforcement and our communities come together, we are able to make tremendous strides toward addressing the opioid crisis,” U.S. Attorney Waldref stated. “Our office has been prosecuting fentanyl cases vigorously – on the Yakama Nation and throughout Eastern Washington – as part of our ongoing efforts to build safer and stronger communities. Fentanyl is particularly lethal, and we are proactively working to prevent the tragedy it causes on a daily basis.”

The raid was conducted through a joint effort between the D.E.A., Yakama Nation Police, Homeland Security Investigations Unit, Toppenish Police Department and Yakima Police Department.

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