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Local homes raided in drug, counterfeit investigation

 

Toulou's home at 308 Burdin Boulevard. - Scott Hunter photos

One man is in jail and another suspect is being sought after a county interagency task force and the Secret Service raided a Grand Coulee residence early Friday morning.

The raid site was lined with police vehicles and slowed traffic that used Burdin Boulevard as a route to get to work.

Arrested and jailed was Melvin E. Toulou, Jr., 42, of 308 Burdin Boulevard. The search warrants covered that address and another home at 58220 Spokane Boulevard.

Officials said the investigation covers thousands of dollars of stolen property, illegal drugs and evidence related to counterfeiting.

A Grant County Sheriff's Office press release stated that the stolen property was believed to have been taken during a home burglary in Grand Coulee.

Toulou was handcuffed and placed in one of the police vehicles, and held there while the Grant County Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET) searched the home.

Toulou's residence is only a block from the Coulee Medical Center campus.

The raids were the result of a "comprehensive investigation," according to the report, during which detectives made controlled buys of methamphetamine and counterfeit U.S. currency.

The investigation continues and additional arrests and charges are pending. The second suspect has not been identified because he hasn't yet been arrested, a sheriff's spokesman noted.

The other residence searched, at 58220 Spokane Boulevard, in Delano.

The Moses Lake Tactical Response Team, U.S. Marshals, Grant County Sheriff's Office, Adams County Sheriff's Office, Kittitas Police Department and Grand Coulee police all assisted INET and the Secret Service with the operation.

"This was a drug and counterfeiting operation which had many moving parts requiring cooperation and expertise of several local and federal agencies," said Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones. "I'm very proud of all the officers involved for their diligence and teamwork."

One person who watched the scene unfold from nearby said the site was very active, with officials going in and out of the Toulou residence for hours.

The raid, which started early Friday morning, continued past midday.

Toulou remained in the Grant County Jail Tuesday night.

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