Crime

Pipe bomb materials were found in his Richland home. He’s also accused of dealing drugs

DEA warns police and public: Fentanyl exposure can kill you

Jack Riley, deputy administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, explains the danger that exposure to fentanyl, a synthetic drug commonly sold as heroin, creates for law enforcement officers and the general public.
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Jack Riley, deputy administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, explains the danger that exposure to fentanyl, a synthetic drug commonly sold as heroin, creates for law enforcement officers and the general public.

An accused drug dealer has been locked up after detectives searching his home allegedly found materials to make a pipe bomb.

Shawn M. Cameron, 37, claims the items — like black powder and fuses — were to make fireworks or other blasting devices in preparation for Independence Day.

His arrest and the search of his Richland home happened on July 10, six days after the holiday.

Cameron was ordered held in jail on $6,000 bail.

He has pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to three felonies: delivery of fentanyl; possession of methamphetamine; and possession, manufacturing or disposing of an incendiary device.

Trial is scheduled Sept. 9.

According to court documents, Cameron was investigated by members of the Tri-City Metro Drug Task Force for a one-year period from 2018 into 2019.

During that time, detectives allegedly negotiated the sale of fentanyl from Cameron by using a confidential informant to complete the transaction.

The informant picked Cameron from a photo that was “free of any identifying markers” as the person who sold the highly addictive drug, documents said.

The buyer also was kept under constant surveillance and the exchange was captured on video, court documents said.

Detectives went to Cameron’s Bernard Avenue home on July 10 and found meth, several firearms, packaging materials and bomb-making materials including gun powder, PVC piping, caps, fuses and tools, documents said.

The Richland Bomb Squad was called out and reportedly determined those items were used for explosive device manufacturing.

Cameron allegedly admitted to both using and selling drugs.

Kristin M. Kraemer covers the judicial system and crime issues for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years in Washington and California.
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