ICE

Fifteen arrested in multi-agency drug sweep

Approximately 90 city, state and federal police officers swarmed across the Rogue Valley Thursday in one of the largest methamphetamine busts in recent history.

Fifteen people were lodged in the Jackson County Jail on felony drug charges as part of Operation Clear Green, which focused on a group responsible for selling pounds of meth per week, Medford police Lt. Brett Johnson said.

A yearlong investigation into the group turned up enough evidence for eight search warrants served in Medford, Eagle Point, White City and Central Point on Thursday, Johnson said.

"We've been watching this organization closely since we first learned about them last year," Johnson said.

The case began last summer when Jackson County sheriff's deputies raided a large outdoor marijuana garden. A thousand plants were pulled from the garden by the Southern Oregon Multi-Agency Marijuana Eradication (SOMMER) team.

SOMMER then shared their findings with the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE) team during a briefing. The teams found that many of the same suspects appeared in two separate drug investigations headed by both agencies, Johnson said.

Over the past year, SOMMER and MADGE learned that a large group of suspects were working together to move meth throughout the county.

The agencies brought in officers from the Talent, Ashland, Central Point, Phoenix, Oregon State Police, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, and several federal agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to serve warrants at eight locations tied to the drug traffickers Thursday morning.

The drug houses were located on McLoughlin Drive in Central Point, Yankee Creek Road in Eagle Point and Vilas Road in Medford.

The warrants turned up 3 pounds of methamphetamine, marijuana plants, an ounce of heroin, a small amount of cocaine, 1 pound of dried marijuana, three handguns, two rifles and $30,000 in cash, believed to be proceeds from drug sales.

Among those arrested were:

- Benardo Parra-Chavez, 28, of Central Point, was arrested on eight counts of delivery of methamphetamine and eight counts of manufacture of methamphetamine. He was lodged in jail on $4 million bail [Illegal Alien].

- Stephanie Huff, 23, of Medford, was charged with delivery of methamphetamine, manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and first-degree child neglect. She was lodged in jail on $530,000 bail.

- Juan Garcia-Ledezma, 28, of Medford, was charged with five counts of delivery of methamphetamine and five counts of possession of methamphetamine. He was lodged on $2,550,000 bail [Illegal Alien].

- Hugo Flores-Galvan, 25, of Medford was charged with delivery, possession, manufacture of methamphetamine and marijuana. He was lodged in jail on more than $1 million bail [Illegal Alien].

- Antonio Alonzo-Gomez, 43, of Medford, was charged with three counts each of delivery, manufacture and possession of methamphetamine. He was lodged on more than $1 million bail.

- Hector Saldana-Madrigal, 38, of White City, was charged with delivery and possession of methamphetamine. He was lodged on $510,000 bail [Illegal Alien].

- Victor Zaragosa-Infante, 53, of Medford, was charged with two counts each of delivery and possession of methamphetamine. He was lodged on more than $1 million bail.

- Jose Zamora-Tovar, 48, of White City, was charged with delivery, manufacture and possession of methamphetamine. He was lodged on $60,000 bail [Illegal Alien].

- Julie Nichole Parke, 33, of Eagle Point, was charged with possession of methamphetamine. She was lodged on $10,000 bail.

- Bernie George Helms, 21, no known address, was charged with a probation violation. He was lodged on $5,000 bail.

- Jeffrey Baltazar, 35, Victor Solis-Guzman, 24 and Alberto Salcedo-Jimenez, 28, all of Medford, were cited and released for possession of methamphetamine.

In addition, two juveniles were arrested on probation violations and lodged at the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center in Medford. Read more about Fifteen arrested in multi-agency drug sweep

Teen who caused flight ruckus back to face charges for Ashland incident

A19-year-old Saudi Arabian who allegedly rammed two police cars in February, then was arrested for causing a disturbance on a plane in Portland two days later, is back in Jackson County to face local charges after pleading guilty to the federal charge of interfering with a flight crew.

Yazeed Mohammed Abunayyan pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland, where District Judge Marco Hernandez sentenced Abunayyan to time served and ordered him to pay a $100 fine.

Jail records in Multnomah and Jackson counties indicate Abunayyan was released in Portland Friday morning and transported back to Jackson County.

He will face multiple charges of criminal mischief, driving while intoxicated and reckless endangerment stemming from the Feb. 19 incident in Ashland.

Abunayyan, who family members say suffers from schizophrenia and hadn't been taking his medication for weeks before he was arrested, led Ashland police on a low-speed chase before ramming two police cars, authorities said. After his arrest, he posted bail and signed an agreement that he would remain in the state until his next court appearance.

But on Feb. 21, Abunayyan boarded a Continental Airlines flight in Portland bound for Houston. It was forced to return to the Portland International Airport 30 minutes later after Abunayyan caused a disturbance when a flight attendant asked him to extinguish an electronic cigarette.

Court records said he yelled obscenities, tried to hit two passengers and mentioned Osama bin Laden before he was subdued.

Fahad Alsubaie, 21, a Saudi Arabian international exchange student studying English at Southern Oregon University and Abunayyan's cousin, accompanied Abunayyan on the flight.

Alsubaie said he was escorting his cousin "to keep an eye on him." The pair planned to head back to Saudi Arabia to see Abunayyan's mother, who was very ill.

Alsubaie said he spoke with Abunayyan about a week ago when the latter was incarcerated in Portland.

"He told me he was doing OK," said Alsubaie, who hoped to arrange a visit with his cousin in the Jackson County Jail. Now that Abunayyan is back in Jackson County, "I can't say if he is good or bad now," Alsubaie said.

A Jackson County grand jury on Feb. 28 indicted Abunayyan on 14 charges, including one count of attempting to elude, two counts of first-degree criminal mischief, three counts of second-degree criminal mischief, failure to perform the duties of a driver when property is damaged, driving under the influence of intoxicants, five counts of recklessly endangering another person, and contempt of court for violating his bail agreement.

Another count of reckless endangerment and a charge of being an illegal alien have been added since then.

Abunayyan's bail is set at $4,000, but because of his illegal alien charge, if he were to post bail, he wouldn't leave Jackson County Jail unless it was in the hands of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, a jail official said.

Jackson County Deputy District Attorney David Hoppe said Abunayyan's case could be handled quickly.

"We're going to try to plead him out early next week," Hoppe said.
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Five charged with heroin dealing in death of former West Salem High School student

Five Mexican citizens today face heroin distribution charges that resulted in the April 16 death of a Keizer woman, federal prosecutors announced late this morning.

The five: Sergio Quezada Lopez, 33, Braulio Acosta Mendoza, 34, Jose Romo Gonzalez, 22, Jose Aldan Soto, 30, and Julian Hernandez Castillo, 31.

All five defendants are citizens of Mexico and are currently the subjects of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers on their custody status.

Lopez is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Acosta today at 1:30 p.m. in federal court in Portland, Amanda Marshall, U. S. Attorney for the District of Oregon said in a prepared news release.

The federal arraignments of the remaining defendants are likely to be scheduled in the near future, Marshall said.

Laurin Putnam, 21, was found dead at her residence in Keizer from an apparent heroin overdose. In four days following her death, investigators made numerous arrests and conducted searches in Washington County, Multnomah County, Marion County, and Vancouver, Wash. Authorities seized more than four pounds of heroin and methamphetamine and cocaine, two guns, and more than $20,000 in cash, authorities said.

In addition to heroin distribution, the five face conspiracy to distribute heroin resulting in death, Marshall said.

Those who have a previous felony drug conviction and are convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin resulting in death face a minimum prison term of life with no possibility of release, and up to a $20 million fine. For those who have no prior felony drug conviction the minimum term is 20 years and up to a $10 million fine.

Keizer Police Chief Marc Adams said in the prepared statement that Putnam’s was the fourth heroin overdose death in Keizer this year.

DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes said the investigation followed the heroin supply chain from the victim’s arm to the doorstep of an out of state source of supply.

Also involved in the investigation were Keizer and Salem, police, the Marion County Sheriff’s, Oregon State Police; the Washington County Interagency Narcotics Team (WIN); the Portland Police Bureau; the Clark-Skamania Drug Task Force; the Oregon Department of Justice; and, the Portland based Highway Interdiction Team.

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Obama Administration Weakens Secure Communities

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) quietly announced last week that it is changing its Secure Communities program to better meet the Administration’s enforcement priorities. The announcement came in the form of a 19-page report ICE released to address a series of recommendations made by the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities "Task Force." (See ICE Response to the Task Force on Secure Communities Findings and Recommendations, Apr. 27, 2012)

While ICE’s responses to the recommendations varied, the agency made a significant policy shift by agreeing with the Task Force recommendation that it should refrain from enforcing the law against illegal aliens apprehended for "minor traffic offenses." (See ICE Response at p. 13) As a result, ICE announced that when Secure Communities identifies illegal aliens pursuant to a traffic offense, ICE will no longer ask the local jails to detain the illegal aliens so that ICE may begin deportation proceedings. ICE characterized its policy shift as follows: "For individuals arrested solely for minor traffic offenses, who have not previously been convicted of other crimes and do not fall within any other ICE priority category, ICE will only consider making a detainer operative upon conviction of the minor criminal traffic offense." (Id. at 14)

Even more disturbing, ICE’s response appears to encourage local agencies not to submit fingerprints to the FBI or DHS for individuals arrested for "minor offenses." ICE states: "It should be noted that states can choose not to submit to the federal government the fingerprints for individuals arrested for minor offenses. In states that do not fingerprint for minor offenses (or that fingerprint for state use but do not submit those fingerprints to the FBI) aliens cannot be identified through Secure Communities because they do not become part of the federal information sharing process in the first place." (Id.) Not only does this directly provide sanctuary cities a way to circumvent the program, but it belies previous statements by the Administration that the program is not optional. (See FAIR Legislative Update, Aug. 8, 2011)

Moreover, despite claims of limited resources, ICE also announced it plans to take action against jurisdictions with arrest rates the agency deems too high. According to the report, ICE and the DHS division of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties have "retained a leading statistician" to examine data for each jurisdiction where Secure Communities is activated and to look for indications of racial profiling. "Statistical outliers," the response reads, "will be subject to an in-depth analysis and DHS and ICE will take appropriate steps to resolve any issues." (See ICE Response at p. 15)

ICE’s announcement that it will limit the scope of Secure Communities is particularly striking because Secure Communities is virtually the only immigration enforcement program the Obama Administration has been promoting. For this reason, the policy change is an unmistakable indication that the Obama Administration has decided to cede even more ground to the open borders, pro-amnesty lobby.

Mexican ID Cards Now Serve as Valid ID in Oregon

Last Tuesday, the Governor of Oregon, John Kitzhaber (D), announced that state and local officers will begin accepting Matricula Consular ID cards issued by the Mexican government as proof of identity for illegal aliens during traffic and other stops. (Associated Press, May 2, 2012)

Four years ago, Oregon toughened its driver’s license policies to prevent illegal aliens from receiving and renewing licenses, but now the state is backing down. (The Oregonian, June 29, 2008) Governor Kitzhaber, glossing over the fact that illegal aliens are violating federal immigration law and state laws by driving unlicensed, claimed that police no longer have an accurate way of identifying illegal aliens during traffic stops. (See Gov. Kitzhaber Letter, May 1, 2012; see also Associated Press, May 2, 2012)

Mexican Matricula Consular cards are highly susceptible to fraud. The Mexican government issues them to Mexican nationals residing outside of Mexico, regardless of their immigration status. (See FAIR Matricula Consular ID Summary, 2003) The Mexican government has no centralized database to coordinate the issuance of the ID cards, and multiple cards can easily be obtained under the same name and address, or with the same photograph, making it easy to establish false identities. (FBI Testimony, June 26, 2003).

Moreover, the FBI has long held that the cards are "not a reliable form of identification" and pose dangers to national security. (Id.) Having a Matricula Consular ID makes it easier for illegal aliens to move about the country, avoid triggering watch-lists, conceal identities from law enforcement, facilitate human trafficking and smuggling, and establish bank accounts to wire money outside the United States. (Id.; see also FAIR Matricula Consular ID Summary, 2003)

Nonetheless, Gov. Kitzhaber gave no indication of fear of such risks, instead expressing his goals for illegal aliens to "come out of the shadows and contribute to [Oregon’s] economic recovery," and hinting at his desire for illegal aliens to be allowed to own driver’s licenses again. (See Gov. Kitzhaber Letter, May 1, 2012)

New York Steps Closer to Private Tuition Fund for Illegal Aliens

The New York State Assembly approved legislation last Tuesday that would permit illegal alien college students to participate in the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). (El Diario, May 3, 2012)

Bill #A08689B, which establishes the New York DREAM Fund Commission, passed the Assembly by a vote of 163 to 3. (See A08689B Votes, May 1, 2012) The 12-member commission will raise private funds for college tuition scholarships for illegal alien minors. The DREAM fund will also make family tuition accounts available to anyone who provides a valid taxpayer identification number, which the IRS grants to illegal aliens because they do not have valid Social Security Numbers. (See A08689B, May 1, 2012; see also New York Daily News, May 1, 2012)

A DREAM Act report produced by the pro-amnesty New York Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) estimates the cost of funding illegal alien college tuition in New York to be around $17 million annually. (New York Fiscal Policy Institute Report, Mar. 9, 2012) New York’s taxpayers already subsidize illegal alien college students by allowing them to pay in-state tuition rates, and pays over $4.8 million annually in K-12 education for illegal aliens. (See FAIR Summary on States Permitting In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens, Sept. 2011; see also FAIR Illegal Immigration Cost Study, July 2010)

FPI’s report attempts to justify these costs by arguing that an increase in "the education levels of workers also increases their productivity…." (New York Fiscal Policy Institute Report, Mar. 9, 2012) However, the students who would benefit from this tuition funding are currently prohibited by law from being employed in the United States. (See INA § 274A(h)(3))

The New York bill, which is similar to legislation passed by Illinois last year, now awaits consideration by the New York State Senate. (See  A08689B, May 1, 2012; see also FAIR Legislative Update, May 9, 2011)

Justice Dept. Seeks to Intimidate Alabama School Districts

In its relentless quest to prevent state and local officials from enforcing immigration laws, the Department of Justice (DOJ) last week sent another letter of intimidation to the Alabama State Department of Education. In the letter, Civil Rights Division chief Thomas Perez drops a thinly veiled threat of litigation to persuade Alabama officials to back away from its immigration enforcement law, HB 56, and specifically the provision that requires schools to collect immigration data on its students.

To-date, Perez writes, the DOJ investigation shows that "H.B. 56 has had significant and measurable impacts on Alabama’s school children." These impacts, Perez states, have weighed most heavily on Hispanic and English language learner students.

Perez states these findings are based on local school data and anecdotal evidence. The local school data, which Perez says raises "significant concern," shows that between the start of the school year and February 2012, 13.4 percent of Alabama’s Hispanic schoolchildren withdrew from school. Remarkably, however, Perez appears unable to explain whether those school children re-enrolled in the same school district, re-enrolled in another Alabama school district, or left the state. He also does not specify what the normal withdrawal rate is in any given year to provide context.

Perez cites no other data given to him by the Alabama Department of Education to support his conclusions. Instead, he writes that anecdotal evidence backs up his claim that HB 56 is unlawfully impacting Hispanics residing in Alabama. Writing with deliberate vagueness, Perez states that "many" Hispanic students reported staying home from school or withdrawing out of fear and that "many students" conveyed that HB 56 made them "feel unwelcome in the schools they had attended for years." "Hispanic children," he adds, "reported increased anxiety and diminished concentration in school, deteriorating grades, and increased hostility, bullying, and intimidation."

This letter from the DOJ to the Alabama Department of Education is not the first. In November 2011, Perez sent a letter to Alabama demanding its schools provide data about student absenteeism since the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. (See FAIR Legislative Update, Nov. 7, 2011) At first, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange balked at the request for local school data, but later the state agreed to cooperate with the DOJ investigation. However, it appears that the local school data, which Alabama sent to the DOJ in early April, did not provide the DOJ with the evidence of discrimination it sought as the most recent letter focused almost entirely on anecdotal reports and recitations of existing federal law.

The timing of this last DOJ letter was also unmistakable. It was sent to Alabama officials the very week the state legislature was scheduled to debate and vote on changes to HB 56. As it turns out, however, the Alabama Senate postponed debate on the legislation to amend HB 56 (HB 658) to this week. Read more about Obama Administration Weakens Secure Communities

McMinnville couple stabbed multiple times by son during domestic argument on Friday Night

On 04/27/2012 at approximately 8:36PM McMinnville Police were dispatched to 1609 SW Fellows St regarding a seriously injured male. Upon arrival it was quickly determined that the male had been stabbed multiple times. His wife had also been stabbed multiple times.

The male victim, Onorio Bravo Mojica (age 55) was transported to Willamette Valley Medical Center with life threatening injuries. The female victim, Tomasa Cruz Leal (age 49) was also transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The suspect was identified as their 29 year old son, Martin Mojica Penaloza, who resided with them.

The area was checked and the suspect was not located at the scene. We later learned that the suspect had gone to a relative's residence. Officers responded to the location and took the suspect into custody without incident.

Martin Mojica Peneloza, Date of Birth 12/13/1982, of 1609 SW Fellows Street Apartment A, McMinnville was lodged at the Yamhill County Correctional Facility pending arraignment in Circuit Court for the following charges:
1 count - Attempted Murder (Measure 11) (SRA) $ 50,000.00
2 counts - Assault in the First Degree (Measure 11) (SRA) $100,000.00
2 counts - Domestic Menacing (SRA) $ 20,000.00
1 count - Unlawful Use of a Weapon (SRA) $ 7,500.00

At the time of this report, both victims are expected to survive the assault.

Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to call Detective Hugo Cerda at 503-435-5615.
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ICE arrests man involved in 2007 Oregon City killing

PORTLAND, Ore. — A 25-year-old Mexican national linked to the killing of a Texas teen five years ago is facing deportation following his arrest Friday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.

Gilberto Javier Arellano-Gamboa was turned over to ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers following his release by the Oregon Department of Corrections. The custody transfer occurred after Arellano-Gamboa fulfilled a 50-month sentence imposed following his conviction for attempted first degree sexual abuse. Arellano-Bamboa will be held at the Northwest Detention Center, Tacoma, Wash., where he will be processed for administrative removal and repatriation to Mexico.

"Identifying and removing criminal aliens is a top enforcement priority for ICE," said Nathalie Asher, field office director of ICE ERO in Oregon. "By working hand-in-hand with local officials, we can help ensure that individuals like Arellano-Gamboa don’t pose a threat to public safety."

Arellano-Gamboa was arrested in 2007 along with his cousin Alejandro Emeterio Rivera-Gamboa. They were charged with the killing of 15-year-old Dani Countryman at an Oregon City apartment. Rivera-Gamboa ultimately pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and abuse of a corpse and was sentenced to life in prison. Four others were also convicted of crimes related to sex abuse of a minor.

Prior to his arrest and conviction, Arellano-Gamboa had no known criminal history or recorded encounters with ICE.

ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security.

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ICE Names "Public Advocate" – Call Him!

Today ICE announced the creation of a new office to serve as a point of contact for those who have "concerns, questions, recommendations or important issues they would like to raise." Boy, do we!

The office will be led by Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, who has been at ICE since 2008, mainly working as an advisor on reforming detention practices. Prior to joining ICE, Strait was a legal services attorney in Prince George's County, Md.

Strait sees his job as helping to flack the administration's non-enforcement policies, which he calls "sensible priorities". He says he will "strive to expand and enhance our dialogue with the stakeholder community." Except to Strait, the only stakeholders worthy of attention are illegal aliens and their advocates.

But I think we should take his statement at face value. He says one of his main duties is to "assist individuals and community stakeholders in addressing complaints and concerns in accordance with agency policies and operations, particularly concerns related to ICE enforcement actions that affect U.S. citizens".

Since ICE has not seen fit to establish a victim's advocacy unit to address the concerns of victims and families, instead establishing a hotline for illegal aliens in detention, I hope all you citizens out there who have been affected by illegal immigration – especially those who have been the victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens – will not hesitate to get in touch with Mr. Strait, and let him and his staff hear your concerns. In his blog, he said he is "thrilled" to be in this role, and hopes you'll reach out to him. He can be reached at andrew.strait@dhs.gov or (202) 732-3999.

 

 

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Officers seize $1 million worth of heroin

Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement officers assisted Friday in what they are calling the largest heroin seizure ever in Southern Oregon.

MADGE assisted Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who learned that two suspects were carrying heroin on a commercial bus heading through Jackson County.

Officers entered the bus bound for Vancouver, Wash., and arrested two California residents and seized two large bags packed with 47 pounds of heroin, worth approximately $1 million.

"It is safe to say this is the most heroin seized in Southern Oregon at one time," MADGE Lt. Brett Johnson said.

The heroin was wrapped tightly in plastic and bundled in 20 individual packages. Each package weighed about 1 kilogram.

Johnson said the street value of the heroin could have blossomed to $2.5 million once it was broken down into smaller quantities and sold.

"Usually 1 pound of heroin is considered a large bust for us," Johnson said. "Forty-seven pounds is unheard of around here."

The officers arrested Antonio Contreras, 21, of Mira Loma, Calif., and Ranee Duarte, 18, of Santa Ana, Calif. They were charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin and possession of heroin.

Contreras was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on a bail of $525,000, while Duarte was cited and released on her own recognizance.

Johnson did not speculate on how the pair came to possess such a large quantity of heroin.

"They did take a big risk by packing it all together and driving through," Johnson said.

Johnson said the pair probably weren't going to distribute the heroin in Jackson County.

"They were passing through on their way to the major markets up north," he said.

However, the heroin most likely would have trickled down here to feed Southern Oregon's growing appetite for black tar heroin, Johnson said.

"Over the past two years we have seen a significant increase in heroin on the street," Johnson said. "It is right up there with meth now as an issue."

The black tar variety of heroin is usually injected, but also can be smoked.

Johnson said MADGE has previously worked cases in which drugs were transported on commercial buses or other public transit.

"Drugs are brought to the area in every way, though," Johnson said. "Sometimes it's on buses, sometimes in rented cars and other times in personal cars. They constantly change their tactics and we change with them."

Johnson said the heroin will be stored in a highly secure place before the trial. After the case is concluded, the heroin will be destroyed.

MADGE is an interagency drug and gang task force that includes personnel from the Medford Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff's Department, Oregon State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jackson County Community Justice and the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.

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(Illegal) Immigrant Action Day

Alert date: 
January 18, 2012
Alert body: 

(Illegal) Immigrant Action Day 2012
Saturday January 21, 2012

Chemeketa Community College Building 2, Salem, Oregon

The focus of this year’s (Illegal) Immigrant Action Day will include the following topics:

  • Restoring driver’s licenses for all in Oregon
  • Stopping local law enforcement collaboration with ICE
  • How to get involved with our children’s education
  • Getting your voice heard in the elections
  • Equality for all members of our community

Lunch and childcare will be provided to those attending the event.

 Please NOTE:

Only foreign nationals in our country illegally would be facing these problems.

A U.S. citizen can get an Oregon driver's license, they can register to vote and can be involved in their child's education.

A U.S. citizen has no reason to fear law enforcement or ICE. 

 

 

Eleven arrested in Ore., Wash. on federal charges in meth distribution ring

Eleven suspects described as “heavy hitting, large scale drug traffickers” were arrested this week on federal charges in connection with a multistate methamphetamine distribution ring, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced Thursday. Dec. 1, 2011. (Washington County Sheriff's Office)

Eleven suspects described as “heavy hitting, large scale drug traffickers” were arrested this week on federal charges in connection with a multistate methamphetamine distribution ring, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced Thursday.

The arrests follow a multi-year investigation. According to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday, the suspects used cell phones to traffic drugs from February of this year to the present. The indictment alleges investigators used court sanctioned wiretaps to capture communication between the defendants and drug supply sources in Mexico.

Law enforcement from federal, Oregon and Washington agencies executed 14 search and arrest warrants on Tuesday and Wednesday, recovering 15 pounds of methamphetamine and heroin, over 20 firearms and large amounts of cash.

The defendants include:

Hugo Gonzalez-Pasaye, aka Gordo, 27, of Hillsboro [ICE Hold}
Adrian Gonzalez-Pasaye, 35, of Vancouver [ICE Hold]
Diego Bermudez-Ortiz, 23, of Hillsboro [ICE Hold]
Edwin Magana-Solis, aka Meno, Roberto Lopez-Delgado, 27, of Hillsboro [ICE Hold]
Mauricio Cruz-Garcia, aka Kalamako of Portland [ICE Hold]
Jose Garcia-Zambrano, 20, of Hillsboro [ICE Hold]
Ricky Valero, 43, of Forest Grove
Gregorio Gutierrez-Montes, aka Goyo, 22, of Portland

The federal charges carry a minimum sentence of 10 years, and a maximum of life in prison.

Multiple agencies assisted in the investigation including: Westside Interagency Narcotics Task Force, DEA, FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, Oregon State Police, the Vancouver Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Sherwood Police Department, the Oregon National Guard, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, the Portland Police Bureau, the Hillsboro Police Department, the Beaverton Police Department, the Clark Skamania Drug Task Force and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. District Attorneys Geoffrey A. Barrow and John C. Laing. 
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