2 charged in connection with Moses Lake heroin bust

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Moses Lake Police Department/courtesy photo Two Moses Lake men were charged in connection with a large drug/gun bust in Moses Lake.

MOSES LAKE — Two men were charged in connection with a large drug and gun bust in Moses Lake in which over 11 pounds of heroin was recovered.

Grant County prosecutors charged Leo Dabalos, 50, of Moses Lake, and Andre Balderas, 34, of Moses Lake, in Grant County Superior Court with delivery of a controlled substance and possession with intent to manufacture/deliver a controlled substance.

The arrests of the two men stem the Moses Lake Police Department being tipped off by a confidential informant, who claimed he had regularly been purchasing heroin from Balderas. The informant advised that all of the drug deals had been done at his residence and Balderas always arrived in a tan Chevrolet Tahoe, which officers recognized belongs to Balderas and is regularly parked outside of his West Marina Drive residence.

The informant also claimed he had a conversation with Balderas in which the suspect told him he had an off-site stash house where he keeps most of his drugs. On Oct. 22 officers set up a controlled drug buy and arranged for the informant to buy two ounces of heroin from Balderas for $900.

Officers observed Balderas as he left his house and stopped in the parking lot of a barber shop on West Broadway Avenue, enter the building, exit the building with another male and later go into the informant's house with the other male.

The drug buy was completed and Balderas went straight back to his West Marina Drive residence. Officers were able to piece together that the male who was with Balderas was Dabalos, as Balderas can reportedly be seen in video surveillance receiving the money from the informant, telling Dabalos to give the informant the heroin and Dabalos can allegedly be seen handing over a “fist-sized object.”

A search warrant was obtained for Balderas’ residence and officers used a ruse to get him out of the house and safely into custody. Police reportedly located 31 grams of marijuana, which is over the legal limit of 28 grams, and vials of steroids in a dresser drawer in the master bedroom. In addition, a locked safe was located in a child’s room at the house, which Balderas agreed to open.

A “large amount of U.S. currency” was reportedly located inside the safe. In total, police recovered $3,692 in cash, which was intermixed with $680 in drug buy money. Because only $680 of the $900 worth of drug buy money was recovered, a search warrant was obtained for Dabalos’ residence on West Broadway Avenue.

Police used another ruse and were able to take Dabalos, a convicted felon, into custody without incident. A large cache of drugs and weapons was reportedly located inside the residence, including an AK-47, rifle magazines, a drug buy/sell record, a sawed-off shotgun and “bricks” of heroin. The weight of the heroin came in at over 11 pounds.

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