News Release
February 26, 2008
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443


Leader of Eugene, Oregon Heroin Ring Sentenced to 15 Years  

FEB 26 -- (Eugene) – DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin and the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, Karin J. Immergut, announced that Armando Paz-Mendez, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Michael R. Hogan to 15 years imprisonment for possession and distribution of more than nine kilograms of heroin. Paz-Mendez was also ordered to forfeit $23,451.00.

Paz-Mendez was the leader of the heroin drug trafficking organization that was based in Lane County, Oregon and was responsible for distributing heroin in Eugene, Springfield and nearby communities. It is estimated that the organization imported and distributed 55 pounds of heroin and 15 pounds of methamphetamine monthly in the Southern Willamette Valley. In March 2007, Paz-Mendez and 33 of his co-conspirators were arrested. Over two dozen search warrants were executed and resulted in the second-largest single seizure of heroin in Oregon history—16.2 pounds.

According to Resident Agent in Charge Robert Peters, the price of black tar heroin doubled soon after the arrests and addicts were reportedly traveling as far as Sacramento and Portland to support their habits.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Oregon State Police, Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove, and Corvallis Police Departments, Sheriff’s Deputies from Lane, Benton and Linn Counties. Assistance was provided by the Junction City Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.