Task force addresses regional drug issues

Informants, officers work to find larger suppliers near Pullman by going undercover



Police Officer Brock Germer discusses the Regional Drug Task Force and the officers going undercover as drug buyers to get information Monday in the Pullman City Hall.

DAISY ZAVALA, Evergreen managing editor

The Quad Cities Drug Task Force presented to the Pullman Police Advisory Committee about past drug cases and what the task force does.

Brock Germer, Pullman police officer and task force member, said their members are from agencies in Pullman and towns in Idaho that include Lewiston, Clarkston and Moscow. The task force also includes officers from Whitman, Latah, Nez Perce and Asotin counties.

The organization works closely with confidential informants who will purchase illegal drugs in a controlled situation for the task force while undercover, Germer said. The officers wear plain clothes.

Arrested individuals might have the opportunity to work as a confidential informant under contract, he said. The contract will depend on the severity of their crime.

He said there is a challenge of established reliability and credibility as the task force is reliant on the informant.

“We have to be very careful to corroborate what they’re telling us,” Germer said.

He said the task force will work multiple cases at one time, with a focus on finding the source of the drugs.

Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins said the task force is overseen by a board composed of sheriffs and chiefs from each participating agency, as well as prosecuting attorneys.

He said the task force has tracked drugs that came from the Tri-Cities and Spokane.

The flow of drugs that come from Spokane and Tri-Cities go through Pullman and work its way through Moscow, Troy and surrounding cities, Germer said.

He said he worked a case where a fraternity pressed their own Xanax pills in Pullman.

It was a large operation, Germer said. People from Seattle came to Pullman to purchase these drugs.

“There are people out there that are addicted, and they need help,” he said. “Chances are we won’t catch them unless they’re out there committing crimes.”

The task force deals with many cases, most of which involve meth and heroin. In Pullman, cocaine and molly are prevalent, Germer said. They have seized vehicles, properties and money in some drug busts.

Many crimes are drug-related, like thefts, vehicle prowls and DUI’s, he said.

People will steal money and sell stolen items in order to get their next supply of drugs, Germer said.

“I think [the task force is] a necessary thing because there’s so much that goes on that even the regular patrol officer doesn’t know about,” he said.