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

Career Criminal Nets Over 12 Years In Prison For Heroin Trafficking

NOV 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 today, November 26, 2008, that Matthew Peter Harway was sentenced to 12 years and 7 months in prison following his conviction for distributing 50 grams of heroin.

Judge Hogan found that Harway, 41, was a career offender with felony convictions in Oregon which included two robberies, burglary, escape, seven thefts of identification, eight forgeries, seven first degree thefts, hindering prosecution, unlawful use of a computer, and three possessions of methamphetamine. His misdemeanor convictions included assaulting a public safety officer, menacing, three second-degree thefts, two attempts to elude police officers and reckless driving.

Between December 2006 and March 2007, Harway purchased heroin from leader Arturo Arciga who was based in Lane County, Oregon. Judge Hogan sentenced Arciga to 13 years and 4 months in prison for distributing heroin and methamphetamine. Armando Paz-Mendez, one of Arciga’s heroin suppliers, an illegal alien from Michoacan, Mexico, was sentenced in February 2008 to 15 years in prison. Salvadore Vargas-Molina, one of Arciga’s methamphetamine suppliers, received a 46 month prison sentence. After a lengthy investigation involving Arciga, Paz-Mendez and others, 34 members of the organization were arrested in March 2007. Over two dozen search warrants were executed and resulted in the second-largest single seizure of heroin in Oregon history—16.2 pounds. To date, 32 of these defendants have pleaded guilty.

These prosecutions were the result of the joint efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Oregon State Police, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, and the Springfield and Eugene Police Departments.