4 arrested for allegedly using sports gear shop as a drug front

Score sports gear store on State Avenue
Score sports gear store on State Avenue Staff writer

Four Olympia men were arrested Friday after they allegedly used Score, a used sporting goods shop, as a front to sell and use drugs.

Evan Pederson, 35, Justin Burnam, 35, Arael Field-Borodin, 21, and Damon Wiffen, 23, were booked into the Thurston County jail and appeared Monday before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Erik Price, who found probable cause for drug charges.

Pederson may be charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Field-Borodin and Wiffen may each face one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Burnam may face two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Price released all four men on their personal recognizance. Arraignment was set for June 28.

Court documents give the following account:

About 3 a.m. Friday, two officers noticed a man smoking a cigarette outside of Score, on the 1400 block of State Avenue Northeast. Because of the early hour, the officers stopped by to check why lights were on inside the store.

Through the window, an officer saw three men inside who appeared to be using narcotics and more narcotics and paraphernalia on a desk near them. The officer watched one of the men place something in foil, place a lighter under it, and inhale the smoke through a pipe.

Two of the men left the store and were immediately detained. One of them leaned into the doorway and tried to warn the other men that there were police officers outside.

The officer spotted the business’s owner, Pederson. Pederson purchased the business a few weeks ago.

Officers said Pederson told them that people regularly came by the store to purchase and consume narcotics. He also told them he used heroin daily, the officers reported.

But Pederson was at Score on Tuesday and told The Olympian, “This was a truly surprising and unfortunate situation. This store is not in the business of selling drugs.”

Pederson’s criminal history includes a pending third-degree theft charge. Burnam’s criminal history includes first-degree trafficking in stolen property, second-degree organized retail theft and possession of marijuana. Field-Borodin’s criminal history includes theft and possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Wiffen’s criminal history includes possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.