The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Jeremy Burnham

Ritzville residents arrested on federal charges

Suspects arrested in Moses Lake one day before they were to be picked up in Ritzville


Last updated 12/19/2019 at 1:16pm

Two Ritzville residents, both of whom were subjects of a two-year investigation in Ritzville, were arrested in Moses Lake on the night of Nov. 12. Taylor Hermsmeyer-Rogers, 25, and Cassandra Rand, 19, were arrested on drug charges when police found them unconscious in an illegally parked car with drug paraphernalia in plain view.

Ritzville Police Chief Dave McCormick told The Journal that the arrest came one day before the two suspects were scheduled to be arrested in Ritzville.

Hermsmeyer-Rogers and Rand were two of the subjects of a two-year investigation of the Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team, a drug enforcement unit based in Grant County.

McCormick said that on Sept. 30 at 8 a.m. the INET, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Ritzville Police Department executed a search warrant at 306 W. Third Ave. in Ritzville. Hermsmeyer-Rogers was arrested and transferred to Grant County on a warrant there. He was later released.

DEA officials moved forward with federal charges against both suspects and federal attorneys presented in front of a grand jury in Spokane on Nov. 5. The grand jury indicted both Hermsmeyer-Rogers and Rand on charges of possession of meth, possession of heroin, conspiracy to distribute meth and conspiracy to distribute heroin.

A warrant was issued and federal agents and Ritzville Police officers were going to arrest the suspects early in the morning on Nov. 13.

McCormick said he was informed Tuesday night that the operation was cancelled because the suspects were already arrested in Moses Lake.

McCormick described Hermsmeyer-Rogers as one of Ritzville’s most prominent drug dealers and that his department has been building a case against him for some time. He said several people provided police with information, but said the process took some time because they didn’t want their names used in a request for a search warrant.

“I think it’s very important for the community to understand that we knew what was going on,” McCormick said. “But we needed to be able to prove it … We worked on this case for two years here in Ritzville.”

Hermsmeyer-Rogers and Rand were in Moses Lake to visit their child who is currently in foster care. Hermsmeyer-Rogers and Rand had scheduled visitation with the child.

Moses Lake Police officers arrested the suspects and booked them into jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Rand was set to be released when the department received notice of the federal warrant. Hermsmeyer-Rogers and Rand now face both state and federal charges.


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