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News / Northwest

Plot to toss drugs over Washington prison fence was foiled. Officers in camo were waiting

By Cameron Probert, Tri-City Herald
Published: March 23, 2023, 7:41am

KENNEWICK — Three people are facing felony charges after they allegedly plotted to toss heroin, meth and other contraband over the security fence at the state prison in Connell.

Dylan Lange, 27, Heather A. Dahlke, 39, and Jason D. Heck, 38, are being held in the Franklin County jail on suspicion of delivery of methamphetamine and heroin, criminal conspiracy and introducing contraband.

The trio reportedly planned to drive from Spokane to the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center and throw the bag of the items over the fence in the minimum security section of the prison north of Pasco, according to court documents.

But their plan was foiled when Coyote Ridge’s Chief Investigator Jeff Kinne learned of the plot because an inmate used a monitored phone line to call them to place the order, said the documents.

The inmate, Daniel H. Dunbar, allegedly asked them to bring meth, heroin, vape pens, chewing and smoking tobacco, alcohol, rolling papers, suboxone strips and a cellphone.

Dahlke reportedly told Dunbar that they were going to drive Lange’s yellow Chevy Avalanche to the prison on Sunday, March 19. Kinne heard the phone call and let Connell Police Chief Chris Lee know about the impending delivery.

Then about 7:30 p.m., Lange talked to Dunbar saying they were arriving at “Grandma’s House.”

Dunbar called Dahlke about 15 minutes later that all was clear, said court documents.

But corrections department employees dressed in camouflage were waiting on Industrial Way, which runs past the prison facility off Highway 395.

Lange and Heck spotted the corrections staff after getting out of the Avalanche and then returned to their truck.

Officers stopped the truck in the parking lot of Tri-State Seed and arrested Dahlke, Heck and Lange.

Officers found a black nylon bag on the sidewalk near the prison. Inside it investigators found three vape pends, a cellphone, 20 cans of chewing tobacco and a black taped cardboard cylinder.

Inside the cylinder, police found four plastic bags with meth and at least one with heroin, said documents. There were also five lighters and a glass pipe.

Dunbar and the three from Spokane have criminal convictions from Spokane, according to online court records.

Dunbar, who has not been charged in connection with the incident, is serving a sentence in connection with five 2016 cases, including three counts of possessing a stolen vehicle, as well as having stolen property and witness tampering.

He is scheduled to be released on Nov. 24.

Lange has convictions for attempting to elude police, having stolen cars and hit-and-run, with his most recent conviction in 2020.

Heck has a history of burglary, attempting to elude police and drug possession. His most recent conviction came in 2020. Dahlke only had a previous conviction in 2016 for second-degree vehicle prowling.

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