By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Local drug detectives’ work on a meth distribution and stolen property ring that stretched over three counties led them to a storage unit containing over $60,000 worth of property they’d like to return to its rightful owners.
The Lewis County Joint Narcotics Task Force today revealed an investigation that early last month led to a compound in Graham where they, along with federal agents, seized more than three pounds of meth, 24 guns and four stolen vehicles.
Jeffrey Pedigo, 48, and Cathy Pedigo, 43, of rural Pierce County are two of the four individuals arrested at the time, according to a news release. Two more are still being sought by law enforcement.
The investigation led to members of JNET and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration then arresting Jose L Gutierrez-Lopez, 33, and his sister, Elvia Gutierrez-Lopez, 43, for delivery of methamphetamine, and the seizure of more than 500 grams of the drug and a firearm, according to JNET.
The team led by Centralia Police Department’s Sgt. Brian Warren, the JNET supervisor, reports those arrests led them to Jeffrey Pedigo for a second time, who was allegedly in possession of a sawed-off, pistol gripped-shot gun, more than a pound of meth, and more stolen property, according to the news release.
Jeffrey Pedigo was booked into the Pierce County Jail and is currently being held on $1.25 million dollars bail.
Last week, law enforcement received new information regarding additional stolen items allegedly being concealed by the Pedigos and discovered the storage unit in South Hill, according to Warren.
They recovered numerous tools and equipment, some used for commercial construction, including an industrial walk-behind concrete saw. Among the loot: Over 30 drills, 12 air compressors, 12 generators and 10 leaf blowers.
The crimes involve Lewis, Thurston and Pierce counties.
Warren states if someone has been a victim of theft in the recent past and can identify their property with a serial number, to phone him at 360-330-7680.
The investigation has included involvement also from the Pierce County Auto Theft Task Force, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Teams and the Washington State Patrol.
Three of the 26 firearms recovered came from Lewis and Pierce counties. Altogether, about five pounds of meth was confiscated.