Bellingham drug dealer gets 20 year sentence
A Whatcom County man will spend the next two decades locked up in prison for running a drug dealing network for heroin and methamphetamines.Todd Hamilton, 36, of Bellingham was sentenced to 20 years, for operating a drug ring in the Whatcom County area by purchasing drugs from an Olympia-based supplier. When Hamilton’s home was searched in December 2011, investigators found meth and heroin, drug ledgers and packaging materials. They also found a loaded .45-caliber pistol. Authorities say Hamilton used violence and threats of violence to get what he wanted.At his sentencing, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said the community should be grateful he’s off the street. According to the plea agreement and other records filed in the case, Hamilton was released from prison in January of 2011 and immediately began running a heroin and methamphetamine distribution ring. Investigators used wiretaps to find out he was purchasing “significant quantities” of methamphetamine and heroin from his Olympia-based supplier and had it transported to the Bellingham area for further distribution. Drug Enforcement Agency investigators learned Hamilton purchased several pounds of methamphetamine and heroin each week, spending tens of thousands of dollars to redistribute the drugs.Investigators also found out he had recruited an employee of the Department of Corrections to help him with drug trafficking. The DOC worker used his access to department computers to determine whether law enforcement was investigating Hamilton. The employee was also charged and convicted and no longer works for the DOC. Hamilton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime on April 1st.