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8 people arrested in Spokane Valley drug bust

Detectives recovered fentanyl pills, methamphetamine and a number of other illegal substances in their search.
Credit: Spokane County Sheriff's Office

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — After an ongoing investigation by the Spokane Valley Police Department, eight people were arrested after detectives recovered several illegal drugs, including fentanyl, methamphetamine and drug sales ledgers.

The operation took place on July 18 at approximately 6 a.m. The Spokane Valley SWAT Team convened in two hotel rooms at a hotel located on East Sprague Street in Spokane Valley. Police said this hotel and surrounding areas have experienced a high amount of criminal activities recently.

After searching both rooms, detectives recovered fentanyl pills and pills believed to be laced with fentanyl, dozens of mostly empty fentanyl vials, methamphetamine, scales, packaging used for the sale of drugs and drug sale ledgers in the search. 

In total, eight people were arrested at the hotel:

  • Joshua Bernal (24): Charged with unlawful use of a building for drug purposes and possession of fentanyl with intent to deliver
  • Autumn M. Hopkins (24): Charged for felony probation violation. She was booked as a Fugitive from Justice due to a felony Idaho Governor’s warrant for dangerous drugs. 
  • Jonathan L. Fordham (35): Arrested on a warrant for a previous third-degree assault with a weapon charge. He was also charged with second-degree trespassing.
  • Katie A. Buzzell (27): Charged with unlawful use of a building for drug purposes and possession of fentanyl with intent to deliver. She also had an active felony warrant.

Three other people were arrested on the scene with second-degree trespassing charges but released the same day. 

The Spokane Valley Investigative Unit (SVIU) and Spokane Valley Patrol Deputies (SVPD) worked with regional hotel management to gain access to the rooms. Hotel management is continuing to work with the SVIU in an effort to lower the crime rate in the area.

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