Undercover drug bust at upscale Tacoma hotel nets heroin, guns and $14,000

An undercover drug bust at a boutique hotel in downtown Tacoma this week netted more than $14,000 in cash and 10 ounces of heroin, according to court documents.

Pierce County sheriff’s investigators were conducting surveillance on a 42-year-old man Florida staying at the hotel.

They watched him walk from his room to a parking garage, where he appeared to remove something from beneath the hood of a Mercedes before getting inside the car.

Deputies moved in to arrest the man, who took off running, leaped over a short wall and landed 20 feet below on a lower parking level.

He was tackled by deputies and taken to a local hospital for treatment of a broken ankle.

Investigators searched the man’s hotel room and found $14,436 in cash, two handguns, 10 ounces of heroin, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, according to charging papers.

The man has been on escape status with the state Department of Corrections for a year and a half and has four prior felony convictions for burglary and assault, records say.

He pleaded not guilty Wednesday to two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and two counts of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

He was ordered held on $1 million bail.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.