Friday Harbor man charged with multiple drug offenses

Matthew Allen Cowell, 34, of Friday Harbor, was charged with multiple drug-related offenses in San Juan County Superior Court.

Cowell has been charged with one count of violating the uniform controlled substances act — possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, one count of possession of heroin, one count of use of drug paraphernalia and one count of possession of methamphetamine. His arraignment is scheduled for March 16 at 9:30 a.m.

On Jan. 5, a deputy on San Juan Island initiated a traffic stop after recognizing Cowell, who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest, as the owner of the vehicle.

After placing him under arrest for the warrant, the deputy noted “fresh sores on his hands and face that were oozing fluid. This is common in drug abusers who are currently using; particularly those who ingest narcotics intravenously,” according to the determination of probable cause.

The deputy deployed K9 Sucia to the exterior of the vehicle to sniff for narcotics. Sucia displayed behavior that indicated the presence of drugs throughout the car, which was towed away, pending a search warrant.

A warrant was issued on Jan. 7. The deputy found four cell phones, a ziplock bag with alcohol wipes and 30 other bags and a metal safe. After obtaining the combination for the safe, he found eight empty syringes, one loaded syringe with an attached needle that contained dark-colored liquid, a scale with a dark, sticky residue and empty plastic baggies that had a variety of substances inside such as dark residue, a white crystalline substance and reddish-brown powder. He also noted a razor blade, spoon and cotton swabs coated with a brown residue. The various residues tested positive for either methamphetamine or heroin.

Cowell’s criminal history includes possession of a controlled substance in Whatcom County and negligent driving in the first degree in Mount Vernon.