News Release
January 8, 2008

Nine Defendants Indicted to Federal Drug Trafficking Charges

JAN 8 -- (Portland) – DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin and United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, Karin J. Immergut, announced today the federal indictment of nine members of a large-scale Salem based drug trafficking organization. The indictments were unsealed today in United States District Court in Oregon. Eight of the individuals charged were arrested and appeared today in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Donald C. Ashmanskas after Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies served over a dozen search warrants throughout the Salem, Oregon area on January 6, 2008.

“Drug dealers live with the knowledge that they will have to ‘pay now or pay later,’” stated Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin. “It appears that those involved in this activity will have to pay now. The collaborative effort of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies has led to the arrest and indictment of more than 20 members of a highly sophisticated drug trafficking network that had plagued this community far too long. The results of this investigation have ultimately led to safer streets in our communities and should send a message that drug dealers cannot continue to do business in this community without consequences and without coming under the watchful eye of law enforcement.”

The indictments are a result of a three-year investigation of the organization, which is believed to be responsible for transporting large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine both nationally and internationally. SAC Moorin and the United States Attorney attributed the success of the investigation to the collaborative effort of the United States Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Salem Police Department, Keizer Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Marion County Meth Task Force, Polk County Interagency Narcotics Team, U.S. Marshals Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Portland Area Narcotics Investigations Team, Oregon Department of Justice, and the Oregon HIDTA. Several other state and local law enforcement agencies from numerous other jurisdictions also assisted in the investigation.

The defendants each face a maximum penalty of life in prison and a maximum fine of $4,000,000. Numerous other individuals were arrested and are in state custody while further investigation is being conducted.