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Idaho Casino Hotel Raid Leads to Meth, Heroin Trafficking Charges

Three men were arrested on drug charges recently following police discovering suspected methamphetamine, heroin, and over $10,000 at Idaho’s Clearwater River Casino & Lodge. Narcotics paraphernalia was also found in the hotel’s guest room.

Nez Perce Tribal Police SUV in Idaho, shown here. The department was one of several which investigated narcotics trafficking at a hotel-casino. (Image: Flickr)

The room was raided by police late last week during a court-ordered search. Police did not detail the amount and street value of the suspected drugs.

The inquiry began in early May after police took part in an undercover heroin purchase.

Later, authorities discovered that the suspect’s alleged drug dealer, identified as Brad J. Sawyer, 54, was visiting Lewiston, Idaho from Torrance, Calif. He was staying in Clearwater River Casino & Lodge, police said.

A judge reviewed the evidence and approved the search of the hotel room. Authorities searched the room and found the alleged drugs and cash.

Also discovered were digital scales, glass pipes, hypodermic needles containing traces of suspected heroin, and packaging materials, police said.

Sawyer was charged with trafficking heroin and meth. He was being held in the Nez Perce County Jail as of Sunday.

Also arrested on narcotics charges were John B. White, 38, of Lewiston, and Kris E. Bell, 54, of Moscow, Idaho. White was still being held in the Nez Perce County Jail as of Sunday. Bell appears to have posted bail.

Sawyer also recently allegedly delivered meth to a residence in Lewiston, police said.

The investigation included agents or officers from the FBI, Quad Cities Drug Task Force, Idaho State Police, and Nez Perce Tribal Police.

Earlier Idaho-Linked Arrest

In an earlier gambling-related incident associated with Idaho, former 311 Boyz gang member Steven Gazlay and his girlfriend, Dana Nee, were arrested in February in Madison County, Idaho.

He allegedly swindled a lender out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and used some of the money on a gambling spree, police said.

Gazlay was convicted of eight felonies, including beating a teen with a crowbar and domestic violence, according to court records.

He was released from prison in 2019. The next year, he and Nee allegedly swindled an Arizona lender out of $707,375 in a mortgage scam. They allegedly took part in an identity theft and used false documents, police said.

Gazlay has been banned from Station Casinos in Las Vegas and nearby locations because of large gambling losses and fraudulent attempts to obtain credit, police said.

Meth Arrest in Las Vegas

In another meth arrest, Nevada Highway Patrol troopers pulled a truck over on a highway near the Las Vegas Strip and seized about 74 pounds of suspected meth from a trailer in February.

Jaquavius Trishun Powell, 26, of Monroe, Ga., was charged with a single count each of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. The meth had an estimated street value of about $237,000, federal sources told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The location of the arrest was near casinos in Las Vegas.

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