Spokane police officers arrested a suspected drug dealer Wednesday, about two months after he was arrested for selling heroin and meth.
Nicholas Romanelli, 37, has been convicted of 14 felonies including drug possession, tampering with a witness, harassment with a threat to kill, animal cruelty and three counts of burglary, according to court documents.
In 2012 he was accused of smashing his wife’s cat against a wall repeatedly until it died.
The arrest Wednesday was the culmination of months of investigation, according to police. The department’s Patrol Anti-Crime Team has been involved in several arrests and cases involving Romanelli, who has been frequently switching hotel rooms and hotels to avoid police detection, according to court documents.
An investigator said in his report it is “common knowledge” among Spokane police that Romanelli knows most PACT cars, making it nearly impossible to follow him. The report noted that Romanelli was known to do “heat checks,” to see if he was being followed by driving recklessly, very slowly or pulling over.
In early April a criminal informant wearing a camera bought heroin from Romanelli in the Rodeway Inn Motel, according to court documents. The next day police stopped Romanelli and found over $10,000 and 27 schedule 3 drug tablets in his car.
During the arrest, police say Romanelli admitted to selling drugs to at least 20 people per day.
Last Sunday, investigators heard from a criminal informant that Romanelli was living on the 2700 block of North Pines Road and again selling large quantities of heroin and meth from his apartment.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.