PORTLAND, ORE. – Eleven members of a multi-state drug trafficking organization have been indicted on federal charges alleging a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The one-count federal indictment unsealed on Wednesday by U.S. Magistrate Dennis J. Hubel charges the defendants with taking part in a conspiracy from February 2011 to the present to possess with intent to distribute, to distribute methamphetamine, and to use cellular telephones to facilitate drug trafficking. Five defendants were arraigned on November 30, 2011 and one was arraigned December 1st, 2011. The remaining defendants are pending arraignment. In the government’s request to have the defendants detained pending trial, it was noted that the multi-year investigation included court-authorized wire interceptions that captured communications between indicted defendants and sources of supply in Mexico. Through the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized more than 25 pounds of methamphetamine.
“As evidenced by the drugs and guns seized in this investigation, drug dealers have an appetite for violence,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes. “DEA and our law enforcement partners are committed to the safety of our communities and will continue to work together to remove these hardened criminals from our streets.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday, federal agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, officers from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy U.S. Marshals, and police officers with the Portland Police Bureau, Hillsboro Police Department, the Beaverton Police Department, and the Clark Skamania Drug Task Force executed 14 search and arrest warrants. They recovered approximately 15 pounds of methamphetamine, heroin, more than 20 firearms, and large sums of cash. Six individuals have been arrested on state charges, and the federal investigation is ongoing.
The charges in the indictment carry significant penalties. All federally indicted defendants face mandatory-minimum ten-year sentences with a maximum of life imprisonment.
The defendants include:
An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Westside Interagency Narcotics Task Force (WIN), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The investigation has been assisted by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Oregon State Police, the Vancouver Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Sherwood Police Department, the Oregon National Guard, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, the Portland Police Bureau, the Hillsboro Police Department, the Beaverton Police Department, the Clark Skamania Drug Task Force, and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.