drugs

Drug fighters run on fumes

COQUILLE — After 25 years of battling crime, the area’s multi-agency anti-drug task force could run out of money in a little more than a year.

Running out would force the South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team to depend on already cash-strapped local governments.

Cal Mitts, SCINT’s director, said the team has enough grant money to continue operations for approximately 14 months.

The team, which borrows detectives from local police agencies, leads anti-drug investigations by its member agencies. It relies on federal and community grants to pay its staff.

“We’re 100 percent grant-funded,” Mitts said.

The problem? Grants have dried up. And the financial crunch is coming at a time when use of both methamphetamine and heroin is rebounding in the area.

“They’re both up considerably,” Mitts said.

Combating meth has been one of SCINT’s primary missions throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. One of the most noteworthy victories came in 2005, when SCINT and other agencies arrested 15 people in the Barview area in a project named Operation: Black Ice.

The number of meth labs in the area shrank after state legislators moved a key precursor chemical behind pharmacy counters. Starting in 2006, any psuedoephedrine purchase required a prescription.

But shutting down the labs didn’t stop meth. Mitts said criminal drug trafficking organizations in Mexico have filled the gap.

In May, a task force of state and federal law enforcement agencies arrested more than 30 people in Klamath County suspected of operating a meth-trafficking ring.

The Oregon Department of Justice said it had found links between the traffickers and Mexican cartels.

I would comfortably say 90 percent — basically all of our drugs — are coming from south of the border,” Mitts said.

While methamphetamine is seeing a resurgence in the area, its nothing like what’s being experienced with heroin.

Despite popular perceptions, Mitts said heroin has a long history in the area.

“In the ’80s and ’90s, there was a lot more of it,” he said. “It was black tar as opposed to powdered — or ‘gunpowder.’”

Still, Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier — who once served as a special prosecutor for the team — said arrests for the drug were relatively uncommon.

“In the seven years I was there, I could probably count on both hands and my toes the whole number of heroin cases we had,” Frasier said.

But the epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse that hit the nation in the past decade brought with it a new generation of heroin users.

“With the safeguards that have been put in place since that rise, the people who cannot obtain the pain pills that they could in the past are looking on the street,” Frasier said.

Both Mitts and Frasier said heroin is now cheaper on the South Coast’s black market than prescription opiate-based painkillers.

“It’s alarming to see the age demographics,” Mitts said. “They keep getting younger.”

The veteran officer said he’d be hard-pressed to name anyone the team had arrested recently over the age of 30.

Over the past decade, the team has relied heavily on community and federal grants to pay its salaries.

Congressman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said that from 2003 through 2010 — the year before the House Republican leadership banned all earmarks — he managed to secure more than $1 million to fund the team. The last earmark was the biggest — about $600,000 — and SCINT has lived on it ever since.

“Unfortunately, the Republican ban on earmarks remains in effect, to the detriment of programs like SCINT, but I will continue to fight to fund it in any way I can,” DeFazio said.

Mitts said the team supplements federal money with smaller community grants, including one from the Coquille Indian Tribe.

Mitts said if the agency can’t secure more outside funding, its only option will be to turn to the county and its partner city governments for help.

“What we’re going to have to see is the different municipalities stepping up,” he said.

But Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni said his agency is already exceeding its commitment to SCINT.

“We already house the team and fund it by providing staff out of the department,” Zanni said.

More money?

“Unless the commissioners hit the Powerball jackpot, I doubt it,” he said.

In its heyday, SCINT had four detectives, an administrative aide, an intelligence analyst, a director and a special prosecutor. Mitts said he’s currently operating with two full-time detectives.

A few years ago, the team hit its lowest point: a director and one detective. It could return to that level if the grants aren’t renewed within 14 months or so, Frasier said.

In the meantime, SCINT continues to pursue its mission with the resources it has on hand. Mitts said a recent operation targeting a low-income housing development in Empire netted a number of heroin arrests.

The veteran officer said for investigations like that to be successful, the public has to provide information — and then testify in court.

“We can only do so much with anonymous information,” Mitts said.

What about asset forfeiture?

While SCINT today relies on grants for its survival, it wasn’t always that way.

Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier, who formerly served as a special prosecutor for the team, said that in SCINT’s early days, the team subsisted primarily on asset forfeitures from drug arrests.

In those days, drug task forces nationwide commonly supported themselves by selling cars, homes and other property seized in raids.

Marijuana not methamphetamine, was SCINT’s cash cow.

“The meth cases generally did not generate a lot of forfeitures,” Frasier said. Chemical contamination makes former meth labs unappealing to potential buyers.

In the late 1990s, Oregon voters passed two ballot measures that would inhibit the team’s ability to profit from asset forfeitures.

The first was Measure 67 in 1998, better known as the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Because so many marijuana growing operations are being conducted under the auspices of the act, prosecutions and subsequent seizures prove difficult, Frasier said.

Then, in 2000, Oregon voters passed Measure 3, which prevented law enforcement from retaining the proceeds from forfeited assets.

“With the lack of funds being available for SCINT to operate, it basically went into a shutdown mode,” Frasier said.

The Legislature loosened the law in 2008, allowing police to keep as much as 63 percent of forfeiture proceeds. But Frasier said the continued difficulty in prosecuting marijuana growers means the process remains relatively unprofitable.

Lack of options for treating opiate addiction

Increasing opiate addiction on the South Coast is straining the resources of treatment providers.

The area badly needs residential services and increased access to Suboxone for detox purposes, said Diedrie Lindsey, director of ADAPT Counseling and Treatment Services. ADAPT provides drug and alcohol treatment services to people on parole and probation through Coos County Community Corrections.

“With opiate addiction, people get three days into the seizure and they’ll hurt so bad they’ll go out and use,” she said.

Suboxone is a drug containing the semi-synthetic opiate buprenorphine and a chemical called nalaxone, which blocks opiate receptors in the central nervous system. Lindsey said the drug is one of the most effective ways to help patients detox, but he knows of only one provider in the area.

Lindsey said ADAPT sees 16-20 people on parole and probation as part of its contract with Coos County, and about 260 people total.

Border apprehensions wildly exaggerated in formula behind Senate bill, say critics

The 90 percent apprehension goal set by Senate and House bills seeking to rein in illegal immigration while establishing a path to citizenship for those crossing into the U.S. from Mexico is based on fuzzy math, according to critics.

The goal, which is supposed to give teeth to legislation some view as amnesty, would depend on a Department of Homeland Security formula for determining the success rate of catching illegal border crossers. That formula requires visual or physical evidence for determining someone got past the border patrol, evidence that simply isn’t left behind in most cases. The result, say critics, is a wildly exaggerated success rate for catching illegal border crossers.

“To calculate it, border patrol officers go out and look for physical evidence of crossings… you know, ‘I saw this person cross and I didn't get him.’ Or, ‘I saw footprints in the sand,’” John Whitley, an economist who analyzed such statistics while he served as the director of the DHS’s Program Analysis & Evaluation department under President Bush, told FoxNews.com.

The problem is that, no matter how hard border patrol officers try to find physical evidence of successful illegal crossings, they can’t find everything.

“We know that this method of calculation understates the number of successful crossings, because you're excluding anyone you don't have physical evidence for,” Whitley said.

Using that method, Department of Homeland Security data already indicate a border security effectiveness rate of 84 percent -- close to the 90 percent target.

Some congressmen are concerned about the numbers.

“To just look for footprints and have a guesstimate – that would be outrageous,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told FoxNews.com.

“We can't go along with a bill that says, ‘Hey, we have a 90 percent requirement for security’ – when there is no way to verify whether or not the 90 percent is accurate.”

In addition to not being accurate, the DHS methodology presents other problems, according to critics. For instance, an administration looking to artificially inflate the border effectiveness rate could simply call Border Patrol officers off from looking for signs of successful crossings and assign them to other tasks.

“There is no way we could trust this Department of Homeland Security to verify,” Gohmert said. “And there are independent sources that we could trust. We could have drones and other monitoring where we can find out exactly how many make it across without being apprehended.”

Other methods of estimating border crossings show a much lower apprehension rate.

“Survey data, recidivism data, and press reports about the Vader radar system all put it in the 50 percent range,” Whitley said, referring to the DHS’s new airborne Vader radar system which, during a test last winter in the Sonora Desert, indicated that the Border Patrol caught 1,874 people but missed 1,962 who successfully crossed.

The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

But groups that support more immigration said that border enforcement should not be a priority in the first place.

“Government obsession with the particulars of border enforcement metrics misses the point,” said Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration analyst at the CATO institute. “We know from experience that increasing legal immigration opportunities, especially for lower-skilled guest workers, is the best way to eliminate unlawful immigration. Border Patrol should operate as a funnel to channel would-be unlawful immigrants into the legal market rather than an agency that separates willing workers from willing employers.”

Policy questions aside, the formula some say is flawed makes the pending Senate bill being touted by Marco Rubio R-Fla., and others problematic, according to sources on Capitol Hill.

“It doesn’t make sense if you’re allowing the Department of Homeland Security to judge themselves,” a GOP Senate staffer told FoxNews.com. “They can game the system, game the statistics, and then end up meeting the requirements.”

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced Tuesday that he would introduce an amendment that would put Congress, not the DHS, in charge of making the determination about whether the border is 90 percent secure.

“My amendment requires Congress to vote every year on border security. If Congress votes that the border is not secure, elements of immigration reform will cease to go forward and visa programs will be slowed," Paul said in a press release.

As of now, the 90 percent goal remains only that, a goal – and the path to citizenship provisions for illegal aliens would be implemented even if the 90 percent target were not met. The only consequence of not meeting the target is the creation of a government committee that would issue a report with recommendations for meeting the target.

Gohmert says he does not want the bills to pass.

“Let's secure the border. And then we can get a deal worked out very, very quickly after that. But not until the border is secure.”

The writer of this piece can be reached at maxim.lott@foxnews.com or on twitter at @maximlott
 

Drugs, deaths and driver cards

Drug abuse is a deadly problem in Oregon and especially in Marion County as reported in the Statesman Journal.  Certainly, the demand for drugs is high and when there is demand a market is created.  However, is it the intent of the Oregon Legislature to make drug dealing easier?  One would think so with the passage of SB 833, a bill giving driver privilege cards to illegal aliens with virtually useless ID requirements to obtain the card. This appears to be an open invitation for cartel operatives to move into our state and distribute drugs even more easily.

Protect Oregon Driver Licenses has filed a referendum to overturn this egregious law in an effort to slow down drug cartel operatives in Oregon and to protect Oregon's citizens.  Can you help?  Visit ProtectOregonDL.org and find out what you can do to stop the insanity.

 

Marion County drug deaths up in 2012

Nineteen people suffered drug-related deaths in Marion County in 2012 — nearly double the number from 2011, according to statistics released from Oregon’s state medical examiner.

That makes the county one of three in Oregon where drug-related deaths rose last year, while the state as a whole saw a 7 percent drop.

Heroin deaths in Oregon climbed 2.5 percent to 147, the highest number on record. In Marion County, heroin deaths doubled from five to 10 in 2012.

The rise in heroin overdoses is due in part to Oregon’s crackdown on prescription drug abuse, police said.

In 2009, the state legislature passed a law that created a database for doctors and pharmacies to track prescriptions for drugs such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and Methadone. Doctors started uploading information to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in July 2011.

By 2012, prescription drug overdose in Oregon dropped by 12 percent.

The problem is that some prescription holders have switched to heroin.

“A lot of people get on (opioids) legitimately from an injury or those types of things,” Salem police Lt. Mark Keagle said. “If people become addicted to Oxycontin, and they cannot get it, then it pushes them to find some medicine or some substance that will keep them from going through withdrawals.”

Prescription Oxycontin commands a street price of up to $60 per pill in Salem, Keagle said. That makes heroin a cheaper alternative.

Unlike prescription pills that stay potent for years, heroin, which is harvested from poppy plants twice a year, loses its potency over a period of months, Salem police Lt. Steve Birr said.

“We can tell when there is a new harvest because we will suddenly have people dropping dead from overdoses,” Birr said. “What got them high one day will kill them the next.”

Also out of sync with state statistics is the number of deaths associated with methamphetamine use in Marion county. Half of the deaths in Marion County were connected to methamphetamine, but the statewide percentage was at 40 percent.

In Multnomah County, where about half of the state’s drug-related deaths occur, methamphetamine accounted for 27 percent.

Dr. Karen Gunson, the state’s medical examiner, thought the proximity of the county’s major cities to Interstate 5 could be one reason why methamphetamine use was higher.

I-5 is a major highway for drug traffickers smuggling methamphetamine from Mexico, which is where most of the meth sold in the U.S. is manufactured, Gunson said. The proximity of cities such as Salem, Keizer and Woodburn to the interstate make them easy points of distribution.
 

MISSING: 266 Illegal Overstays that ‘Pose National Security’ Risks

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cannot find 266 potentially dangerous foreign nationals who have overstayed their visas, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

According to testimony from Rebecca Gambler, director of the Homeland Security and Justice for GAO, on May 21, 2013 before the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, DHS identified 1,901 illegal overstays of concern in 2011. As of March 2013, 14 percent remain missing.

Of those that pose security threats, 266 could not be located, and nine individuals had been arrested.


 

Bruce Broussard and U-Choose Education Forum present: Illegal Immigration

Alert date: 
2013-05-31
Alert body: 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday June 3, 2013

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Debra Mervyn: debrauchoose@gmail.com

 

Sunday, June 16th, 4:00 PM, Channel 11

Bruce Broussard and U-Choose Education Forum present:

Illegal Immigration

Are the new state laws good for Oregon and its citizens?

Should illegal immigrants be given Oregon Drivers Licenses?

How do illegal immigrants impact jobs in Oregon?

Is in-state tuition for illegal immigrants fiscally sound policy when budget short-falls in our higher education system are cutting deeply?

We can do something to counter this new legislation.

Referendum to Voters- Protect Oregon Driver Licenses- www.protectoregondl.org

Bruce Broussard has been a leading and provocative conservative voice in Oregon for over thirty five years. His TV show, Oregon Voters’ Digest focuses on the social and political issues that are important to all the people living in the Pacific Northwest. Bruce will interview two experts on the impact of illegal workers on the nation and on Oregon.

 

  • Jim Ludwick, founder of Oregonians for Immigration Reform(OFIR) , and
  • Cynthia Kendoll, OFIR current president,

They will discuss instate tuition (House Bill 2787), drivers licenses for illegal immigrants (Senate Bill 833), and a referendum being launched by OFIR to enable Oregonians to vote on these very important issues.

Oregon Voters Digest shows are repeated on Tuesdays at 12:00 Noon on Channel 23, and Fridays at 8:00 on Channel 22. Later they will be posted on Oregon Voters Digest’s U-Tube site.

Cartel towns pose challenge for immigration reform

Just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, stands a dormitory-style shelter filled with people recently deported from the U.S. and other migrants waiting to cross the border.

The long rows of bunk beds offer immigrants a place to rest on their long journey. But the shelter is no safe haven in a town controlled by the Gulf cartel. Armed men once showed up and took away 15 men, who were probably put to work as gunmen, lookouts or human mules hauling bales of marijuana into the United States.

As Congress takes up immigration reform, lawmakers may have to confront the reality of this place and others like it, where people say the current system of immigration enforcement and deportation produces a constant flow of people north and south that provides the cartel with a vulnerable labor pool and steady source of revenue.

"This vicious circle favors organized crime because the migrant is going to pay" for safe passage, said the Rev. Francisco Gallardo, who oversees immigrant-assistance efforts for the Matamoros Catholic diocese.

If Congress sends more resources to the border, the government will also need to account for shifting patterns in immigrant arrests.

The cartel controls who crosses the border and profits from each immigrant by taxing human smugglers. At the shelter, the cartel threat was so alarming that shelter administrators began encouraging immigrants to go into the streets during the day, thinking they would be harder to round up than at the shelter.

There have been record numbers of deportations in recent years and tens of thousands landed in Tamaulipas already this year, the state that borders Texas from Matamoros to Nuevo Laredo. Arizona is often singled out as the busiest border crossing for immigrants entering the U.S., but more and more migrants are being caught in the southernmost tip of Texas, in the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector.

Apprehension statistics are imperfect measures because they only capture a fraction of the real flow, but the arrest numbers are definitely shifting.

Arrests in the Tucson, Ariz., sector dropped 3 percent last year, while Rio Grande Valley arrests rose 65 percent. In March alone, the Border Patrol made more than 16,000 immigrant arrests in the Rio Grande Valley sector, a 67 percent increase from the same month last year, according to the agency.

Immigrant deaths are also up. The sector reported last month that about 70 bodies were found in the first six months of the fiscal year, more than twice as many as the previous year.

The makeup of the immigrants apprehended here is changing, too, driven by people flowing out of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The Border Patrol made 94,532 arrests of non-Mexican immigrants along the Southwest border last year, more than double the year before. And nearly half of those came in the Rio Grande Valley sector.

The Border Patrol is responding by redirecting personnel, including sending most new graduates from its academy to the Rio Grande Valley, according to senior Border Patrol officials.

When immigrants from Central America and Mexico arrive in Matamoros ahead of their trip to America, they are met by smugglers who have to pay the cartel tax for every person they take across the border.

Attempts to cross alone are met with violence. Some immigrants are kidnapped and their families extorted by the organization.

Reported murders in Tamaulipas, the state that borders Texas from Matamoros to Nuevo Laredo, increased more than 250 percent in the past four years, according to the Mexican government. Official statistics are generally thought to undercount the real toll. Soldiers recently killed six gunmen in a clash in Matamoros.

And yet, even with the high-degree of danger for immigrants crossing this part of the border, they keep coming.

Central American migrants continue to use the route up the Gulf Coast side of Mexico and through Tamaulipas because it's the shortest to the U.S., said Rodolfo Casillas Ramirez, a professor at Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales in Mexico City. The smugglers choose the route, and even if immigrants have heard about the violence in Tamaulipas, "they trust that the premium they've paid includes the right of passage," he said.

They continue to leave their home countries for economic reasons. Although the U.S. economy has provided fewer jobs for immigrants during the Great Recession and a long, slow recovery, opportunities south of the border have been even more limited, Casillas said.

That's why the Rev. Alejandro Solalinde, a Roman Catholic priest who founded a shelter for immigrants in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, said the answer is in regional development, not increased border security.

"This situation has grown because ultimately the migrants are merchandise and organized crime profits in volume," he said during a recent visit to Matamoros.

Rep. Filemon Vela, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee whose district includes Brownsville, said the immigration-reform debate has so far left out discussion of the security and economic development in Mexico.

"The incentive for people to cross over illegally from Mexico will never subside until these individuals feel safe and until they are able to feed themselves and their families," Vela said.

At the 150-bed shelter, more than half of the immigrants have just been deported from the U.S., Gallardo said. The others are immigrants preparing to cross. He said shelter workers constantly chase out infiltrators who are paid by smugglers to recruit inside.

At Solalinde's shelter in southern Mexico, threats from organized crime forced them to bring in four state police officers and four federal ones, who have lived at his shelter for the past year as protection. Solalinde now travels with bodyguards after having fled Mexico for a couple of months last year following threats.

One immigrant at the Matamoros shelter was a 48-year-old man who would only give his name as "Gordo" because he feared for his safety. He said he had arrived two days earlier after traveling from Copan, Honduras. Gordo said he had lived in Los Angeles for 10 years but had been in Honduras for the past four. He was trying to make it back to California, where he has a 15-year-old daughter.

Asked about his prospects for successfully crossing the river, he said: "It's difficult, not so much for the Border Patrol" but for the cartels.
___

Associated Press Writer Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed to this report.

Smoke jumpers plant landing in pot 'starter kits'

A team of smoke jumpers fighting fires in the Applegate unknowingly dropped into a 1,500-plant marijuana garden this week, sheriff's officials said.

The locally-based smoke jumpers parachuted into the garden as they were searching for lightning-sparked fires, Jackson County sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said.

The firefighters contacted law enforcement, who pulled the plants from the site on Tuesday, Carlson said.

"They had no idea they were dropping into a marijuana garden," Carlson said.

The sheriff's department said it is unusual to find a large marijuana garden this early in the year.

People usually stumble into the gardens in the late summer or early fall.

Most of the plants were small and growing inside plastic pots.

"They were in starter kits, so to speak," Carlson said.

The grow site was littered with hills of garbage, much of it harmful chemicals that can pollute soil and streams in the area, officials said.

At least two people were believed to be camping at the garden, keeping armed watch over the plants as they grew over the summer, Carlson said.

"These plants were going to be harvested in late summer or early fall," Carlson said.

The amount of garbage was disturbing, though not surprising considering what deputies have seen piled up at previous gardens found in the forest, she said.

"If you consider at least two people were eating two meals a day and then throwing the food containers away, and that it takes a lot of chemicals and fertilizers to start these grows, that's a lot of trash," Carlson said. "It's very bad for the environment of our forests."

The sheriff's department is putting together a group of volunteers who will hike into the garden to haul out the trash in the coming weeks, Carlson said.

"We won't just let it sit out there," Carlson said.

There were 1,509 plants at the site, along with hundreds of additional holes dug for future planting. Authorities also found two long guns and other evidence that suggested the garden was part of a Mexican cartel operation, Carlson said. She declined to elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.

Those recreating on federal lands should be aware of the dangers of coming across possible grow sites, officials say. Telltale signs are PVC piping or black poly-pipe, bags of fertilizer, large quantities of trash and camp sites. Those who come across such sites should leave immediately the way they came in, police say. If possible, take note of the location on a GPS and make a waypoint but do not linger or investigate further. Upon returning home, call the local sheriff's department and provide accurate road descriptions and drainage or creek names.

"Anything that doesn't add up to the way the woods should look should give you a clue that you're in a marijuana grow," Carlson said. "Just head back the way you came and immediately call law enforcement."

Most of the marijuana plants at the grow site were small and inside plastic pots, said sheriff’s officials.

Klamath County raids lead to 38 arrests

GRANTS PASS — More than 300 local, state and federal officers, some in camouflage gear and helmets, fanned out across rural Klamath County in the pre-dawn darkness Wednesday and arrested 38 people accused of operating a methamphetamine and gun distribution network connected to Mexican drug cartels. Ten more were still sought.

Darin Tweedt, chief counsel of the criminal division of the Oregon Department of Justice, said the raids were the culmination of an eight-month investigation dubbed Operation Trojan Horse. It started last October when agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives came to the state criminal division with information about the ring. State authorities enlisted the help of local authorities and other federal agencies, and the investigation snowballed.

"We have evidence that shows they are linked to the cartels," Tweedt said of those arrested. "The goal of this particular operation was to send a pretty clear signal that we are not neglecting to enforce narcotics laws in rural Oregon counties. We cast a pretty wide net."

In the course of searching 23 homes and businesses in Klamath Falls and outlying rural communities, police also seized 4 pounds of methamphetamine and 50 guns.

The Herald and News newspaper reported officers used flash-bang grenades and forced their way in to some homes.

"This operation takes a big group of suspected meth dealers off our streets," Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a statement.

Nearly all of the methamphetamine and heroin available in Oregon comes through Mexico, said Chris Gibson, Oregon director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas. Mexican gangs also are responsible for most of the large marijuana being grown illegally on remote national forestlands in Oregon.

The agency's statistics showed that seizures of methamphetamine and guns in Oregon have been trending upward since 2008, along with drug arrests. Seizures of marijuana and cocaine are down. Seizures of heroin and prescription drugs are up.

Law enforcement task forces report they are investigating 47 drug gangs in Oregon, 24 of which are described as Mexican or Hispanic, Gibson said.

Tweedt refused to comment on whether the ring was connected to the killing last fall of two California men whose bodies were found buried on an abandoned ranch outside the rural community of Bonanza, where some of the arrests were carried out. The slain men were identified as Ricardo Jauregui, 38, of Oakley, Calif., and Everado Mendez-Ceja, 32, of Richmond, Calif. They had told their families they were going to Oregon to buy a horse and hay. Their truck was burned.

The arrests overwhelmed the local jail, which has closed whole sections because of budget cuts related to the loss of federal timber subsidies. Tweedt said the Klamath County sheriff opened unused sections to accommodate all the people being arrested. More arrests were expected as police continued serving warrants. Klamath County Circuit Court started arraigning the first of those arrested. A grand jury will start considering indictments next week.

Tweedt said the drugs were manufactured somewhere else then distributed around Klamath County and neighboring rural areas. Very little methamphetamine has been made in Oregon since laws went into effect regulating the sale of cold medicines, which can be used in making the chemical.

Among the 19 people arraigned was Jose Buenaventura Vinals, 50, of Klamath Falls, District Attorney Rob Patridge said. He was charged with two counts of racketeering and two counts of selling methamphetamine. The district attorney's information alleged that Vinals was involved with at least six other people in a criminal enterprise dating back to Oct. 1, 2012. Others arrested included men and women ranging in age from 22 to 49 from Bonanza, Chiloquin, Klamath Falls and Beatty.
 

Attention Registered Voters in OREGON: It doesn't get any easier than this

Alert date: 
2013-06-02
Alert body: 

Attention Registered Voters in OREGON  It doesn't get much easier than this folks.  An issue dedicated website is now open containing all the information you need about SB 833 and the Protect Oregon Driver Licenses referendum.   The URL is:  http://www.protectoregondl.org/

You can view a complete copy of SB 833 and the single signature petition on the site.

SB 833 signed bill. This is the full bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor on May 1, 2013 giving driver privilege cards to illegal aliens.

Petition signature sheet (electronic version). This is a single signature sheet. It includes a summary of SB 833 written in the Secretary of State's office. To sign the petition, simply print this sheet on white paper only - colored paper is not allowed. Then follow instructions on the sheet. Mail signed petition sheets to the address below. Note: Signature sheets are not to be printed out and distributed. They are for personal use only.

The Signature Sheet may appear confusing at first.  It is a standard form used by the Secretary of State for any bill passed on which citizens wish to file a Referendum.  The top section text is supplied by the Secretary of State and identifies the substance of the bill in question.  The bottom section is where citizens send a message, by signing the petition, to the Secretary of State requesting a vote by the people The reference to full and correct copy of the text refers in our case, to SB 833 as passed.

The longer, 10-signature sheets are now available upon request. Please email or call us and let us know how many signature sheets (10 names each) you would like to have sent to you. We need your help collecting signatures.  There are hundreds of opportunities at which to collect signatures in the summer. And remember your friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers may all be interested in participating. 

You can also pick up supplies at many of the upcoming events in which OFIR will be participating.  We will keep you posted!

Many thanks to members for all the enthusiastic, encouraging messages received about this project. 


Protect Oregon Driver Licenses
PO Box 7354
Salem OR 97303

503-435-0141

Send an email to Protect Oregon Driver Licenses

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