Two South King County men charged with drug trafficking for selling deadly fentanyl to Navy sailor
Victim was found dead from overdose aboard ship at Naval Base Kitsap
Tacoma - Two South King County men have been charged with federal drug crimes in connection with their trafficking in counterfeit pills laced with deadly fentanyl, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. CHASE FRIEDRICH, 28, was arrested April 21, 2020, at his Des Moines, Washington, apartment. His drug supplier, RAOUL V. NORMANDIA, JR., 28, was arrested April 24, 2020, near his Federal Way, Washington, residence. FRIEDRICH sold counterfeit Percocet pills to a Navy sailor – that sailor provided them to another sailor who died of a drug overdose. The pills are presumed to have been tainted with deadly fentanyl.
The investigation began April 18, 2020, when a Navy sailor was found dead in his workspace aboard a Navy ship. In his pocket were two counterfeit pills presumed to be laced with fentanyl. The Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) were able to identify the sailor who provided the pills to the victim and identified FRIEDRICH as his supplier. A search of FRIEDRICH’s apartment revealed cocaine, a handgun, and a bag of approximately 100 counterfeit pills.
Investigators were able to trace the pills and cocaine to NORMANDIA. He was arrested a few blocks from his home. In the vehicle was cocaine. During a court‑authorized search of NORMANDIA’s residence, law enforcement recovered firearms, ammunition, body armor, narcotics, and various signs of the drug trade, including scales, baggies, heat sealers, Moneygram receipts, and twenty cell phones.
Both men made their initial appearances and are being held on a federal charge of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by NCIS and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office as a part of the West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team (WestNET) and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lyndsie Schmalz.