Beloved Washington pastor, grandfather charged with drug-trafficking, money laundering
Just over a year ago, as he was pictured on Facebook officiating a wedding, Washington pastor and grandfather Steve Parker was praised as an “amazing man of God.” Earlier this month, however, detectives in Skagit County arrested Parker, who allegedly had a stockpile of guns and drugs, after getting a tip that he was on his way to becoming “a high level drug dealer,” and his clean-cut family knew nothing about his double life.
On his Facebook page, Parker, 57, introduces himself as “a new convert, a soul in the midst of spiritual growth. A fish on the line.” He also lists himself as the director at NEST Ministries and founder and executive director of Omni-Manna Services, which is a supportive employment and housing service.
“We work within Snohomish County for those who have had troubled pasts, addictions, or just down on their luck. With the help of ProviderOne we are able to help find employment and low cost housing while counseling our clients through the process,” the Omni-Manna Services website says.
On Facebook, there are wholesome photos of Parker with family and friends and even a video of him belting out an inspiring rendition of Andrae Crouch’s “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.”
In court records reviewed by The Christian Post, the Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit said they got a tip from sources in November 2022 that Parker had been distributing controlled substances in the counties of Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom.
“Information obtained from these sources is that Steve Parker has started to become a higher level drug dealer and that he possesses firearms, and deals fentanyl powder, fentanyl pills, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine,” an affidavit of probable cause explains. “Sources told detectives that Steve Parker is a pastor and that he has a business that helps people with addiction problems by assisting them with housing and jobs, although he deals drugs as well.”
On Jan. 19, as he drove his 2002 Subaru in Mount Vernon, police swooped down on Parker and found him with approximately two ounces of fentanyl powder and a loaded handgun. Deputies also noticed he had a live feed camera on his phone, and he turned it off as they were contacting him.
Acting later on a search warrant, detectives searched the Subaru and discovered more than 2.7 pounds of methamphetamine, some 2,000 counterfeit pills, another ounce of fentanyl powder and cocaine.
“Parker admitted the drugs were cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl. Detectives also located packaging material commonly used in the distribution of drugs along with drug scales,” the affidavit says. “Parker also admitted he knew fentanyl was a very dangerous drug, and he has provided Narcan to an overdose victim in the past.”
Parker further told police that he needed multiple drug suppliers because he sources were not consistent and “bragged about being a good drug dealer, saying he is good at business.”
He also confessed to leading a double life and having two houses where he kept his godly life and criminal behavior separate.
“The house in Tulalip is where he conducts his criminal behavior and has a girlfriend. During the search warrant, detectives located several firearms and discovered there were surveillance cameras both inside and outside the home,” court records note.
At the second home, Parker lived with his wife and mother-in-law, along with approximately 14 other people living on the property.
“Parker said they did not know about his criminal activities. That was confirmed by detectives while servicing a warrant at that home,” investigators note.
A total of 30 firearms were recovered from both homes.
In a Jan. 20 appearance at the Superior Court of Washington County of Skagit, Parker was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine as well as fentanyl and methamphetamine which both came with a firearm enhancement. He was also charged with counterfeiting controlled substances, maintaining a vehicle for drug trafficking; money laundering and conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, fentanyl and/or cocaine. All the charges are felonies.
Bail was set at $750,000. He is set to appear in court again on Feb. 2 at 9:30 a.m.
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