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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
January 10, 2005

Portland - Sentencing in Federal Narcotics Case

JAN 10--The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) today announced that Elias Espinoza Lopez, age 53, and Ysaura Espinoza Cruz, age 61, of Salem were each sentenced by United States District Court Judge James Redden to 151 months in prison following their guilty pleas to Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine.

A lengthy federal and state investigation led to the arrests of Elias Espinoza Lopez and Ysaura Espinoza Cruz in June 2003, for heading a multi-state drug organization responsible for distributing large quantities of narcotics into Oregon, including one load containing 36 kilograms of cocaine seized from a vehicle traveling on I-5 near Medford in April 2003. This seizure constituted the largest seizure of cocaine ever made in an Oregon-based investigation. During numerous additional searches spanning over a one-year period, investigators seized additional kilogram quantities of drugs, numerous guns and over $500,000 in cash. Twenty-three additional defendants have been convicted in federal court in connection with this investigation.

This case was investigated by the DEA in cooperation with the Salem Police Department, the Oregon State Police, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Regional Organized Crime Narcotics Task Force, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For further information, please contact Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen L. Bickers at 503-726-1060 or DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Magee at 503-326-3371.

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