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Tag: Nest Ministries Arlington

Update: Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Steve Parker Sentenced to 54 Months in Prison for Drug Trafficking

pastor steve parker

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

[Parker] 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. . . At the second home, Parker lived with his wife and mother-in-law, along with approximately 14 other people living on the property.

In 2023, Steve Parker, the director of Nest Ministries and the founder and executive director of Omni-Manna Services, both located in Arlington, Washington was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine as well as fentanyl and methamphetamine. 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.

The Christian Post reported:

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.

Parker recently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to fifty-four months in prison.

The Herald reports:

The Rev. Steve Parker was in jail when he told his associates to help his girlfriend deliver the pizzas, according to phone recordings recounted in court documents.

He reportedly talked about getting a good price, telling them his girlfriend would deliver for $3 instead of $6 or $7.

As it turned out, “pizza” was a code to discuss his multi-county drug trafficking business, investigators determined.

Parker, 58, of Arlington, pleaded guilty last month to eight felony charges in Skagit County Superior Court: four for possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, one for conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, one for money laundering, one for maintaining a vehicle or building for drug trafficking, and another for possession of a stolen firearm.

Judge Thomas Verge sentenced Parker this month to 4½ years in prison.

Parker was known in Arlington for helping those with substance abuse issues. What most people didn’t know is that he supplied his clients with the very drugs they were struggling to recover from across Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties, prosecutors alleged.

His family was unaware of his secret life, Parker reportedly told investigators.

Parker listed himself as an officer of Nest Ministries, a religious organization at 307 N. Olympic Ave., according to the charges. A reporter’s phone call to the ministry went to voicemail Wednesday.

State filings list “Rev Steve Parker” as the head of Omni-Mana, a service that “helps people who have had substance abuse or mental health issues fine employment.” Google lists the organization as temporarily closed.

In January, police arrested Parker in Mount Vernon while he was driving his 2002 Subaru. Investigators found 2 ounces of fentanyl, 2.7 pounds of methamphetamine, 2,000 counterfeit fentanyl pills and a handgun, charging papers say.

In an interview with investigators, Parker acknowledged resupplying his drugs three or four times a week from multiple suppliers. Text messages revealed he was also selling guns, according to court documents.

Primarily residing between Arlington and Darrington with his wife and mother-in-law, Parker conducted his drug business in a second home in Tulalip with a girlfriend, charges said. Jail calls between the two suggested the girlfriend continued delivering and selling drugs while he was behind bars, according to court documents.

Jail calls also revealed Parker let his clients live in the Tulalip house if they paid his girlfriend 50 “little friends” a week, meaning drugs, so she can “stay stable,” the charges say.

In his two houses, investigators found 30 guns, according to charging papers.

Drug dealing was a main source of income. He bragged to investigators that he was “good at business,” charges say. The money allowed him to purchase “high value” cars, like his 2011 Mercedes, registered under other people’s names.

Parker acknowledged knowing the dangers of fentanyl, telling investigators of a time he used Narcan to help someone overdosing. The counterfeit fentanyl pills he sold, masquerading to look like Oxycodone, have been linked to “numerous overdoses within Skagit County and have been a direct cause of several deaths,” prosecutors wrote.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser