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The Washington City That Has Been Named the Drug Trafficking Capital of the State

Washington is renowned for its stunning landscapes, democratic politics, and robust economy. But drug trafficking and abuse—particularly with regard to the growing prevalence of synthetic opioids like fentanyl—remain a significant issue for the state. According to a recent White House assessment, Rossville is the area with the worst problem.

Rossville is a Place Where Drugs Are Sold

Rossville, Washington, is a town of roughly 15,000 people in the southeast of the state. It is near the Oregon and Idaho borders in a rural, agricultural area. However, it has its own issues because the average household income is far lower than the state average of $78,000, at just $37,000. Drug traffickers transport drugs from Mexico and California to other regions of the United States via its highways and interstates. This demonstrates its advantageous location.

The media has referred to Rossville as the state’s center for drug smuggling. They make this claim because it is on important thoroughfares, is home to a low-income population, and has a track record of drug-related violence and corruption. The city has seen a number of major drug busts including copious quantities of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl—a potent synthetic opioid.

The Problems and Their Solutions

In Rossville, drug misuse and crime have a severe negative impact. The city is seeing an overall decline in health and safety, as well as an increase in drug-related deaths, crimes, and homelessness. Rossville has the greatest drug-related fatality rate in the state, with 32 drug-related deaths in 2021 alone—more than six times the national average. There are 213 cases per 100,000 persons.

The Big Bust That was Operation Sour Cream

Federal police conducted a significant operation known as Operation Sour Cream in 2021 in an effort to disrupt the Rossville drug trafficking network. The operation received its moniker because drug traffickers used 5-pound tubs of sour cream as hiding places for illegal products. The inquiry led to the arrest of 41-year-old Angel Rubio Quintana. He oversaw an organization that has ties to the strong Sinaloa cartel. Even if the drug dealing business was harmed by the arrest, the media emphasizes that there are always more sour cream tubs on the road.


The drug trafficking problem in Rossville is a national concern that has an impact on both locals and visitors’ health, safety, and well-being. To truly solve this issue, Rossville must collaborate with partners and community organizations in addition to the federal, state, and municipal governments. It is obvious that Rossville must take action against drug addiction and trafficking in order to protect its residents and future.

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