Feds arrest former Orcas Island student, break up Bellingham meth ring supplying San Juans

Denali Wood and her boyfriend Todd Hamilton in an undated photo from her Facebook account. - Facebook photo
Denali Wood and her boyfriend Todd Hamilton in an undated photo from her Facebook account.
— image credit: Facebook photo

Last week, federal authorities arrested former Orcas Island High School student Denali Wood, 23, and her boyfriend, alleged drug ring leader Todd Hamilton, 34, and charged them with conspiracy to distribute heroin and methamphetamine in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan Counties.

Wood was a member of the Orcas High School class of 2006.

"The couple distributed extensive amounts of heroin and methamphetamine in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan Counties," reads the Dec. 22 U.S. Attorney’s announcement about the arrests.

In the news release, attorney Jenny Durkan is quoted as saying, “This drug trafficking organization damaged many lives with the heroin and methamphetamine they spread in our communities. This conspiracy thrived on threats and violence, and used a corrupted former corrections officer to try to avoid arrest. I commend the federal agents and local law enforcement officers for their good work.”

The announcement continues, "During a court authorized wiretap investigation, the conspirators discussed their drug deals, how to launder drug money, and the beating one drug customer received when he failed to pay a debt.  Information obtained during the course of the investigation revealed how HAMILTON used a Washington State Department of Corrections officer to try to get information regarding law enforcement knowledge of him and his girlfriend. That corrections officer resigned his position earlier this year and has now been charged in the drug conspiracy."

The Bellingham Herald also reported on the arrests with a story entitled, "Alleged heroin, meth ring leader arrested in Bellingham."

According to the Herald's analysis of court documents, Hamilton, who has ties to an Aryan Nation prison gang known as the "The Hated" or "8854," allegedly obtained and trafficked more than $100,000 in drugs (6.5 pounds of methamphetamine and 57 ounces of heroin) to Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties between mid-November and early December.

Sounder staff will be investigating the story in greater depth this week.

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