Police seize heroin, firearms and more after 11-month investigation in Bellingham

Police seize heroin, firearms and more after 11-month investigation in Bellingham
Photo of some of what was seized by the Whatcom Gang and Drug Task Force and Bellingham Police Department. (WCSO)

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A 37-year-old Bellingham man was arrested Monday after police said they found evidence that he was actively selling heroin, firearms and more.

Officials with the Whatcom Gang and Drug Task Force and Bellingham Police Department said they began receiving information in 2018 that Nathan W. Jerls and his girlfriend were reportedly dealing large amounts of narcotics and illegally selling firearms in the area.

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From last August until June, WGDTF officials said they began making a series of undercover purchases of narcotics from Jerls.

Most of the purchases were of heroin and occurred in and around Bellingham, police said.

On Monday afternoon, police served a search warrant on Jerls’ apartment in the 2000 block of Fraser Street in Bellingham, just west of Whatcom Falls Park.

As police served the warrant, they said Jerls fled out the back door of the apartment armed with two handguns and an AR-15 rifle.

Police said he was confronted by SWAT members and was taken into custody without further incident.

According to police, one of the handguns was stolen out of Everett.

Jerls was also in possession of multiple rounds of ammunition and more than $3,000 cash, police said.

When the searched the apartment, detectives said they found “large amounts of evidence indicating that Jerls was actively selling and manufacturing drugs.”

Police said they seized a little more than a 1/2 pound of heroin, a small amount of methamphetamine, drug scales and other narcotics-related items.

Jerls was booked into the Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of delivery of a controlled substance, maintaining a drug house, possession with intent to deliver, three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a stolen firearm.

“The sale of heroin and methamphetamine have taken a huge toll on our community,” Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said in a news release. “The quantity of narcotics seized in this case and the possession of firearms by those trafficking in the drugs, illustrates the dangers presented in terms of the potential for overdose deaths, destroyed lives and violence.”