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Police shut down St. Helens drug house


Their garage door was scorched in what police believe was an arson attempt, but the residents at 396 N. 10th Street in St. Helens didn't want to report it.

Months later, on May 6, when police served a search warrant and raided the house, it became clear why.

"We don't normally see pounds of heroin," said Sgt. Phillip Edwards, unit supervisor for the Columbia Enforcement Narcotics Team. The team often utilizes informants and controlled buys to break drug cases.

PetersenAt the N. 10th Street house, Investigators seized commercial quantities of heroin, firearms, scales, packaging material and money. Residents Brian Kenneth Allen, 33, and Kathy Fay Petersen, 54, were arrested and face multiple charges of manufacturing heroin, delivery of heroin and possession of heroin.

For years, St. Helens police had been fielding complaints from neighbors, who said there was drug dealing going on at the house.

"We'd maybe get in for a short while," said Sgt. Phillip Edwards, Allen"Then they'd change the way they'd do business."

And investigators would have to start all over again.

"I'm sure all the neighbors though their complaints were falling on deaf ears," Edwards said.

But each complaint acted like a brick and over time investigators built a wall. Eventually they had enough "probably cause" to ask for and receive the search warrant which led to Allen and Petersen's arrests.

Edwards said Allen told police he was purchasing half-ounces of heroin at a time multiple times per week. A half ounce of heroin costs approximately $600 at a wholesale rate and dealers can turn around and double that when they resell to users.

The case has been sent to the District Attorney's office.