Two Charged After Allegedly Throwing Package of Heroin, Meth Out of Vehicle During Police Chase in Centralia


Two people have been arrested and charged after they allegedly threw a package of heroin, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia from their vehicle during a police chase in January.

The Centralia Police Department had responded to reports of a dispute at the Motel 6 in Centralia on Jan. 10, and motel staff had requested that the two subjects, Erica E. Smith, 38, of Olympia, and Collins W. Williams Jr., 38, of Lacey, be trespassed from the premises.

While the officer was speaking to motel staff, Smith and Williams reportedly left the scene in a Lincoln Navigator.

According to court documents, two officers attempted to stop the Navigator to inform Smith and Williams that they were trespassed from the motel, but the Navigator reportedly got onto southbound Interstate 5 and, near Exit 79, “the occupants of the vehicle threw out a container.”

When inspecting the container, which had reportedly “split open upon impact,” officers found a “baseball-sized bundle” containing over 63 grams of heroin, along with 54 grams of methamphetamine.

Officers additionally found “a digital scale for weighing the heroin” and “clean baggies commonly used for packaging smaller amounts of narcotics.”

The Navigator came to a stop approximately a mile-and-a-half later, according to court documents. Both Smith and Williams were found to have outstanding warrants for escape from community custody. They were booked into the Lewis County Jail and later released.

Both were arrested again on April 10, and on April 11, police obtained a search warrant for the Navigator and found an additional electronic scale, along with “a rubber tube containing methamphetamine residue.”

Smith and Williams were each charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver and escape from community custody — felonies — and use of drug paraphernalia, a gross misdemeanor.

While Smith and Williams are being charged as co-defendants and both have criminal history, Judge James W. Lawler set Smith’s bail at $10,000 secured and Williams’ at $20,000 secured.

Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead had asked for Williams’ bail to be set at $25,000, stating that Williams had a more extensive criminal history than Smith and that Williams hadn’t reported to his community custody since September 2020.

Defense attorney Rachael Tiller asked that Williams’ bail mirror Smith’s at $10,000. While she acknowledged Williams’ criminal history, she stated that his most recent case is from December 2018 and he has no active felony cases — unlike Smith, who has an active bail-jumping case out of Thurston County.

Lawler set Williams’ bail between the two requests, and set both Williams’ and Smith’s arraignment hearings for Thursday, April 15.

Lawler also approved the condition that the defendants, who are in a dating relationship, be allowed to communicate with each other upon release as long as they don’t discuss the case.