News Release
April 29, 2009
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443

Oregon Poly-Drug Trafficker Gets Over 18 Years in Prison
Methamphetamine Seized Believed to be Largest in Oregon History

APR 29-- (Portland) – DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin announced that on April 28, 2009, Heriberto Montenegro-Mendez, 34, of Forest Grove, Oregon was sentenced to 220 months in prison for his conviction of conspiracy and drug trafficking of methamphetamine and cocaine. Following a three week trial in October 2008, a jury returned verdicts of guilty on all counts. The case involved a multi-state poly-drug distribution ring which obtained its drugs in Mexico and California for distribution in Oregon. In early 2005, nine members of the organization were arrested and law enforcement seized 40 pounds of methamphetamine, two kilograms of heroin, cocaine, five vehicles with electronically-operated hidden compartments, handguns, and approximately $190,000 in currency. The methamphetamine seizure in this case is believed to be the largest of its kind in Oregon law enforcement history. Montenegro-Mendez is the eighth defendant to be sentenced in this drug conspiracy. One defendant remains a fugitive of justice. The conspiracy ring leader, Ricardo Mendez-Morales, 39, of Beaverton, Oregon was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The other defendants sentenced to imprisonment were:

Octavio Mendez-Morales, 36, of Forest Grove, Oregon – 164 months;
Hector Villarruel-Lopez, 38, of Hillsboro, Oregon – 144 months;
Omar Vasquez-Chavez, 30, of Gaston, Oregon -87 months;
Jose Rios-Ruiz, 31, of Idaho – 37 months;
Oscar Aguirre-Sanchez, 24, of Beaverton, Oregon – 37 months; and
Jesus Flores-Garcia, 40, of Astoria, Oregon -37 months.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Westside Interagency Narcotics Team, Oregon State Police, Portland Police Bureau, Regional Organized Crime Narcotics Task Force, and the District of Oregon United States Attorney’s Office.