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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
March 9 , 2005

Major Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization Dismantled

Coos Bay Oregon – Today, Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge, Seattle Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, announced the culmination of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, termed Operation Black Ice, that resulted in the arrest of 15 suspects for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

This case began 18 months ago in response to the growing methamphetamine trafficking problem in Oregon. DEA agents, along with detectives from the South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team and the Douglas County Interagency Narcotics Team, obtained information that a criminal organization was transporting large quantities of crystal methamphetamine, also know as Ice, from the southwest border region of the United States to Oregon for distribution in Coos and Douglas Counties.

Arrests began on the morning of March 9, 2005, as agents and officers executed 11 Federal search warrants at various properties in Coos and Douglas Counties, Oregon. To date, 15 individuals are in custody, and agents and officers have seized more than nine (9) pounds of methamphetamine, seven (7) firearms, and $3,000.00 in currency.

Special Agent in Charge Rodney G. Benson of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said that “Operation Black Ice was initiated in response to local law enforcement’s concern over the growing methamphetamine problem in Coos and Douglas Counties, Oregon. DEA, along with the United States Attorney’s Office and state, county, and local law enforcement, aggressively went after this methamphetamine trafficking organization and disrupted its operations throughout Oregon. The success of these enforcement operations should send a strong message to those individuals and groups who traffic methamphetamine that DEA will work with all law enforcement agencies to dismantle these criminal organizations.”

This joint investigation was spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration Eugene Resident Office which worked in concert with agents, Sheriff Deputies, Police Officers, and attorneys from the Coos Bay Sheriff’s Office, Coos Bay Police Department, Brookings Police Department, Myrtle Point Police Department, Reedsport Police Department, North Bend Police Department, South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team, Curry County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team, Coos County District Attorney’s Office, Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, United States Marshals Service, and the United States Attorney’s Office in Oregon.

Twelve of the fifteen defendants are charged with violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841 – Possession with Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of a Mixture or Substance Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine, which carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. Three (3) others are charged with a violation of 21 USC 841 which carries a minimum of five (5) years in prison and a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.

Every Defendant Is Presumed Innocent Until and Unless Proven Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

Rodney G. Benson, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in-Charge, Seattle Field Division, has provided a radio clip commenting on Operation Black Ice. The radio actuality can be accessed by doing the following:

Dial 1-888-557-6494, and then dial mailbox number 702.
Listen and record.

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