Police: Longview car lot a front for major drug operation

2012-08-11T23:00:00Z 2013-12-19T13:24:52Z Police: Longview car lot a front for major drug operationBy Natalie St. John / The Daily News Longview Daily News
August 11, 2012 11:00 pm  • 

A local car dealership may have been a front for a major drug-dealing operation. Longview police on Friday arrested five people suspected of playing a role in local meth sales, including Sidney Potts, owner of Potts Family Motors in Longview.

"This organization, led by Sid Potts is responsible for delivering several thousands worth of meth into the Kelso-Longview area on a weekly basis," Longview police Capt. Robert Huhta said in a phone interview Saturday.

Huhta said investigators believe the car dealership could have been used to launder money from a drug-dealing operation.

"We do have evidence that money was co-mingled through the business. We are looking at adding money laundering charges through the investigation," Huhta said.

Huhta said detectives from the street crimes and criminal investigations units began investigating the business several months ago, after receiving several tips indicating the owners could have ties to local drug trafficking.

"We started following up on those tips," Huhta said.

Working in collaboration with the Cowlitz/Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force, police arrested Sidney A. Potts, 61, during a planned traffic stop around noon on Friday.

Police then served three search warrants at Potts Family Motors at 411 Oregon Way, a warehouse at 1275 Alabama Street, and at Potts' home, in the 2000 block of Louisiana Street.

Potts was arrested on suspicion of leading organized crime, money laundering and three counts of delivery of methamphetamines. His partner, Diana L. Horner, 53, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and money laundering; and his nephew, Joshua T. Potts, 35, was arrested on three counts of delivery of methamphetamine, and three counts of delivery within 1,000 feet of a school zone.

Later Friday, police arrested two additional suspects, Anjelita Llanes and Christian J. Velasquez, ages unavailable, on suspicion of conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

During the search of the three properties, detectives recovered from a vehicle "between three quarters of a pound to a pound of meth" with an estimated street value of at least $10,000, Huhta said. Police confiscated 25 vehicles and more than $33,000 in cash, as well as documents from the business and home that could supply evidence of the family's involvement in meth-dealing.

Huhta said the cars were seized because there is evidence that they were linked to the drug ring. "Some of the vehicles were directly involved in the delivery of drugs. Others were tied to the money that was co-mingled."

The arrests, which came about as the result of "a tremendous amount of work" done by police detectives and staff from the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum narcotics Task Force, are part of an ongoing investigation.

"This investigation doesn't end with these arrests," Huhta said. "I anticipate that several more arrests will occur."

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(8) Comments

  1. Wisdom
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    Wisdom - August 13, 2012 7:06 am
    "O Little Town Of Methlehem"...
  2. Cheney119er
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    Cheney119er - August 13, 2012 8:42 pm
    Walter White is supposed to be fiction. But I've heard a lot of good things about meth, lots of energy, weight loss, let's try to stay positive.
  3. Rural Citizen
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    Rural Citizen - August 16, 2012 5:09 pm
    Great Job being done by the Task Force. We really don't need MM in our area. Really.
  4. partner
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    partner - August 21, 2012 12:53 pm
    Don't quit your day job-if you have one !!
  5. partner
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    partner - August 21, 2012 1:08 pm
    Cheney119er #1 (you definately----)
    Wisdom #2 ("O Little Town--)

    by : the Clean & Sober One
  6. partner
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    partner - August 21, 2012 1:19 pm
    Rural,I agree Thanks to Street Crimes & associated Agencies hopefully a few more of our Citizens may live another day or two Also Thanks needs to go out to the Chief of Police too,Your doing a GOOD JOB -KUDOS to you & your STAFFYou may want to talk to Cheney119er tho Does not understand the negative side of "METH"-stay positive-are you out of your *+%@#^%$( mind )
    Clean & Sober One
  7. VickiM1
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    VickiM1 - August 24, 2012 9:19 pm
    Hurray!! Longview needed a little cleaning up. I"m sure it doesn't make much of a dent in the drug infestation , but it will sure help. Thanks, Task Force and police and whoever helped make it happen. Less drugs, less crime. As far as any "good" things about meth, there are none! I've never seen anyone have anything positive happen to them as a result of drugs. The choices are jail or death. You need to wake up, and get real.
  8. VickiM1
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    VickiM1 - August 24, 2012 9:22 pm
    Get real! Positive??? What an idiot, and I say that kindly because you need help if you think there's anything positve about meth.
    It destroys families, turns people into criminals and puts people in mental hospitals and jail.
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