By Caleb Hutton
A Bellingham man suspected of having a pound of methamphetamine was booked into jail Thursday afternoon Feb. 26.
Joseph Lee Garcia, 33, was the wanted man in a SWAT operation Wednesday morning in the 4500 block of Meridian Street. Deputies, with help from federal agents, were searching for Garcia at his business, Garcia Motors, said Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo.
He wasn’t there. But the next day law enforcement caught up with him in the 2200 block of Xenia Street. Garcia was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.
During an investigation that lasted several months, Elfo said, investigators found a pound of meth at a location Garcia owned or rented. The sheriff declined to go into further detail because the investigation is ongoing.
A pound of meth has a street value of about $12,000.
Garcia, considered by the sheriff’s office to be a member of the East Side Surenos gang, has past convictions for drug crimes.