drugs

Report cites I-5 as major drug corridor

Illegal drugs continue to be a major problem for the state of Oregon — the manufacture of them, the use of them, the illicit sale of them and even their transportation, according to a report from the Oregon High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program.

Between January 2008 and the end of March 2012, authorities traced nearly $10 million in drug money seizures back to Oregon.

The connection to the state was determined through certain conditions: either the vehicle used for drug transportation or the driver’s license was registered to an Oregon address.

According to the HIDTA report, 464 incidents of drug or cash seizures could be traced back to Oregon. The most common states in which said incidents occurred were California, Nebraska and Kansas.

However, when considering the pounds of marijuana heading east, four states stand out: South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa.

The reason for Oregon’s high amount of seizures, authorities said, is the state’s location on a prime drug route — Interstate 5.

“Oregon sits on one of a number of major drug corridors,” said Chris Gibson, director of the Oregon HIDTA. “Drugs coming from Mexico and drug trafficking organizations are either being dropped here or distributed with portions being dropped here.”

I-5 connects Canada, Mexico and the states in between in a single vein of traffic, making it an ideal route for drug traffickers. In addition, many of Oregon’s other highways run east to other outlying states. The report cited Highways 97 and 395 as major examples.

These connecting highways, in addition to a drug demand in Oregon, make the state appealing for drug traffickers, Gibson said.

“I think Oregon has its own demand problem,” he said. “We just happen to have that distinction of sitting on I-5, which is the pipeline from Mexico both ways. It’s natural for drugs to make it up this way and then head east, but a lot of it is being left behind in the state.”

The two most frequently trafficked drugs noted by HIDTA are marijuana and controlled prescription drugs. Between the two, more than 60,000 incidents of seizures were connected to Oregon during a four-year period.

Gibson said it’s important to note that although it appears the connections point to the drugs being physically located in Oregon at some point, that’s not necessarily true.

“For instance, you could have a person from Salem who, for whatever reason, grabs a load in Idaho and takes it East,” he said. “It doesn’t necessarily connect the drugs that were being in Oregon at that point, I would say, with the exception primarily of marijuana.”

Southern Oregon continues to house a large amount of domestically-grown marijuana, Gibson said. More seizures of marijuana trafficking occurred on I-5 headed north than in any other direction or any other drug, according to the report.

Officials in Salem have a particular concern about marijuana because the drug frequently serves as a gateway into harder drugs, such as heroin, according to Lt. Dave Okada, spokesman for the Salem Police.

“A lot of it is marijuana leading to abuse of prescription drugs that leads to the heroin,” he said. “I don’t know if that has a correlation to the proximity of I-5, but our street crimes team is telling me that the vast majority of people they deal with on addiction issues say they started with marijuana.”

An Oregon State Police traffic stop north of Lakeview in 2011 led to the discovery of 50 pounds of marijuana. / Photo courtesy of Oregon State Police

OSP Traffic Stop Leads to Seizure of 2 lbs of Heroin, Arrests of 3 People in Douglas and Yamhill Counties

A traffic stop Saturday morning by Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers on Interstate 5 north of Canyonville led to the arrest of two men after the discovery of approximately 2 pounds of heroin concealed in their vehicle. Follow up investigation by OSP Drug Enforcement Section detectives and troopers also led to the arrest of a wanted person in Newberg.

On September 1, 2012 at approximately 7:09 a.m. an OSP trooper stopped a 2004 Chevrolet Impala displaying Washington license plates northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 102 for a speed violation. The two occupants were identified as driver VICTOR HUGO BARRAGAN ALCAZAR, age 18, and passenger ARMANDO GIOVANI VALENCIA, age 18, both from Vancouver, Washington.

Subsequent investigation with the assistance of an OSP drug detection canine led to the discovery of approximately 2 pounds of heroin concealed in the car's trunk with an estimated value of $70,000.

Both men were taken into custody for Unlawful Possession and Distribution of Heroin. They were later cited and released to appear at a future date on the charges in Douglas County Circuit Court.

The investigation led OSP Drug Enforcement Section detectives and OSP troopers to Newberg. With the assistance of Newberg Police, OSP arrested ENRIQUE BOTELLO SANCHEZ, age 31, from Vancouver, Washington on September 2nd for an outstanding Fail to Appear Warrant (DUII, Resisting Arrest). Charges are pending for SANCHEZ related to the initial traffic stop and heroin seizure.

 

Report: County is near top for drug abuse

It came as no surprise to Jackson County's narcotics officers and addiction treatment specialists that the region ranks high in Oregon in meth and prescription drug abuse.

The numbers come from a report released this week by the Oregon High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, or HIDTA.

The report noted that Jackson County has most people per capita who seek treatment for prescription medication abuse. The county also ranks second, behind Umatilla County, in the number of people per 10,000 who are treated for methamphetamine addiction.

"This number is both good and bad in the sense that people are getting into treatment and there could be a light at the end of the tunnel to their addiction," said Medford police Deputy Chief Tim Doney, who also heads the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement team.

"The bad news the report brings is that it drives home that there remains a large drug problem in our community."

The report said that just more than 30 people for every 10,000 in Jackson County have sought treatment for meth addiction.

Medford police Chief Tim George said that meth continues to pour into the region despite the Legislature's efforts to limit the sales of pseudoephedrine, a primary component in meth.

"It's shocking how much meth is transported into this area," George said. "It makes you wonder about the security of our border, because most of this meth is coming here from criminal organizations based in Mexico."

The HIDTA report said the number of meth labs seized in Oregon has plummeted since the Legislature took pseudoephedrine off the counter in 2004.

The supply was quickly buttressed by cartels in Mexico, who can produce meth by the ton and ship it across the United States.

"We are on the receiving end of powder drugs here," Doney said. "But in reference to marijuana, we are a source region."

The HIDTA report backs up Doney's claim by reporting that marijuana grown in Oregon is commonly found in the Midwest and South.

A large portion of this marijuana is diverted illegally from Oregon medical marijuana gardens and sold on the black market, George said.

"Our marijuana goes across the nation," Doney said. "That's just a fact of life."

Another disturbing tidbit listed in the report is the increase in heroin use among Oregon teens.

George argues that a smokeable form of heroin, known as "gunpowder," has taken away the stigma of a drug that once was associated with needles.

"You can now smoke it and not deal with needles," George said. "We are seeing that this is particularly popular with young people."

Earlier this year MADGE seized 49 pounds of heroin at a local bus station. Oregon State Police found 55 pounds during a car stop last week on Interstate 5 near Ashland.

"Without a doubt, heroin is on the rise here locally and throughout the state," George said.

In another piece of bleak news, HIDTA reported that drug-related deaths spiked across the state in 2011, with fatalities inching up 20 percent above 2010's numbers.

In all, 240 people died of drug overdoses in Oregon in 2011.

JACKSON COUNTY AND DRUG ABUSE

Per capita comparison of drug treatment admissions per 10,000 residents by county:

Jackson County

Heroin — 20

Prescription drugs — 31

Meth — 32

Marijuana — 40

Multnomah (includes Portland)

Prescription drugs — 25

Meth — 29

Marijuana — 40

Heroin — 60

Number of illegal marijuana plants eradicated by police by county for 2011:

Jackson County

Indoor — 383

Outdoor — 2,872

Josephine County

Indoor — 794

Outdoor — 577

Deschutes County

Indoor — 357

Outdoor — 0

Douglas County

Indoor — 52

Outdoor — 86

Meth lab seizures in Oregon since 2004

2004 — 448

2005 — 192

2006 — 62

2007 — 20

2008 — 21

2009 — 13

2010 — 13

2011 — 10 (2 in Jackson County)

 

Metolius man faces charges

A Metolius man was arrested after police allegedly found him to be in possession of one ounce of methamphetamine, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said.

Juan Miranda-Medina, 32, was arrested in the parking lot of Erickson’s Thriftway in Madras on July 27 on suspicion of possession and delivery of meth. Miranda-Medina was taken to the Jefferson County jail, where he is also being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for illegal re-entry into the United States.

 

Tags: 

'Icebreaker 2' suspect sentenced

The 13th defendant in the sprawling “Icebreaker 2” investigation was sentenced Wednesday morning in Linn County Circuit Court.

Gilberto Garcia-Camacho [also known as Marco Hernandez-Vargas], 25, of Linn County pleaded guilty to racketeering and faces nearly three years in prison, with credit for time served and the possibility of earning time off for good behavior.

Authorities have said that in Icebreaker 2, a drug trafficking network distributed as much as 4 pounds of methamphetamine and 2 pounds of heroin throughout the Willamette Valley in any given week.

Police raids happened in the case on March 13 after a nine-month investigation.

Garcia-Camacho [aka Hernandez-Vargas] came in at the tail end of the criminal enterprise, and purchased large quantities of drugs, said defense attorney Paul Ferder of Salem.

Ferder added that Garcia-Camacho [aka Hernandez-Vargas] knew very few people involved in the larger criminal organization.

“He’s aware that at the conclusion of his sentence, he will be deported,” Ferder said.

Garcia-Camacho [aka Hernandez-Vargas], a Mexican citizen, was polite but declined much comment at Wednesday’s hearing.

“Whatever you decide,” he told Judge Daniel Murphy through a Spanish interpreter.

According to the charge, Garcia-Camacho [aka Hernandez-Vargas] conspired and endeavored to associate with an enterprise that distributed methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.

Daniel Wendel, assistant attorney general, represented the prosecution. The case is being handled by the Oregon Department of Justice and the Benton County District Attorney’s Office. Most of the suspects were from Benton County.

Christian Stringer, Benton County chief deputy district attorney, said eight people in Benton County and four in Marion County already had been sentenced in the investigation.

Six court cases remain in Benton County, and five of those suspects remain in custody. A sixth, James Knox, was released after posting $100,000 on $1 million bail.

The investigation is continuing, and more people could be arrested, Stringer said.

 

Man faces new charge in heroin death

The case against a Salem man accused of delivering heroin to a 21-year-old Keizer woman that resulted in her death has moved from county court to federal court.

Christopher Wood, 19, is alleged to have given heroin to Laurin Ann Putnam on April 16, according to court records.

Wood faces the new charge of distribution of heroin resulting in a death, which carries a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and up to a $10 million fine. The law, known as the Len Bias law, was passed in 1988 after the cocaine overdose and death of basketball player Len Bias.

Wood joins six others who face federal charges in connection with the case.

Court documents detail how investigators with the Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as other agencies around the state, learned of each level in the drug trade and eventually arrested what appears to be the highest level of dealer in the drug organization, Sergio Quezada-Lopez.

Lopez, 33, was distributing heroin and cocaine to customers in Oregon and Washington on a regular basis in an operation that “likely yielded a yearly gross profit of over one hundred thousand dollars,” according to court records.

In the 96 hours after Putnam’s death, investigators made arrests and conducted searches in Washington, Multnomah and Marion counties as well as Vancouver, Wash., and seized more than four pounds of heroin, an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine and cocaine, two guns and more that $20,000 in cash, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Law enforcement also arrested Braulio Acosta Mendoza, 34, Jose Romo Gonzalez, 22, Jose Aldan Soto, 30, and Julian Hernandez Castillo, 31, for conspiracy that resulted in death. All five men are residents of Mexico, the attorney’s office said, and are being held with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers.

Similar to Wood, Joseph Rubino, 20, of Salem was charged in Marion County court before that case was dismissed and he was indicted on federal charges.

In 2011, there were 143 heroin-related deaths, a 59 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office.

U.S. attorney Amanda Marshall said in a release that “heroin has saturated our state,” and that “this has to stop.”
 

Tags: 

Republicans decry 'deadly' policy as report shows illegal immigrants committing new crimes

Roughly one in six illegal immigrants is re-arrested on criminal charges within three years of release, according to new government data being released Tuesday.

Those charges range from murder to drunken-driving and, according to House Republicans pushing out the report, are symptoms of what they describe as a "dangerous and deadly" immigration policy.

The findings, obtained by Fox News, are contained in reports by the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee and nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. They are the result of the committee’s subpoena request for Department of Homeland Security records from October 2008 to July 2011.

The information was analyzed by the CRS, which also broke down the information for criminal immigrants -- legal immigrants who committed crimes and were arrested again over the three-year period. Together, the two groups also had a roughly one-in-six recidivism rate.

The records show 276,412 reported charges against illegal and criminal immigrants over that three-year period as identified by Secure Communities, a federal program that essentially attempts to make best use of resources by identifying and prioritizing which illegal immigrants pose the biggest threat to public safety and should be arrested or deported.

Of the 160,000 people in the database, more than 26,000 were re-arrested -- accounting for nearly 58,000 crimes and violations.

They allegedly committed nearly 8,500 drunken-driving offenses and more than 6,000 drug-related violations. The records also show major criminal offenses, which included murder, battery, rape, kidnapping and nearly 3,000 thefts. Roughly 2 percent of the crimes included carjacking, child molestation, lynching and torture, according to the 13-page Congressional Research Service report.

“The Obama administration could have prevented these senseless crimes by enforcing our immigration laws,” the committee chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said. “But President Obama continues to further his anti-enforcement agenda while innocent Americans suffer the consequences.”

The report showed that more than 7,000 of those re-arrested were illegal immigrants. Among their charges were 19 murders, three attempted murders and 142 sex crimes.

The records were subpoenaed last year in large part over concerns that Obama administration changes to Secure Communities was allowing “potentially millions of illegal and criminal immigrants to avoid current immigration law,” according to the GOP-led House committee.

The Department of Homeland Security could not be reached for comment.

Committee members cited one case in which an illegal immigrant was flagged by Secure Communities for a June 2010 vehicle theft and then arrested five months later for attempted grand theft.

He was then arrested roughly six months later in connection with murder. He and two other men allegedly attempted to rob a 68-year-old man. When the victim’s grandson intervened, the illegal immigrant allegedly shot and killed the grandson, according to the committee.

“While this illegal immigrant should have been detained and deported, he was not considered a priority under the Obama administration’s reckless immigration policy and was released onto our streets,” the committee concluded.

 

Police identify man arrested after cocaine is found in car

The driver of a car that Oregon State Police said held 55 pounds of "high-grade" cocaine that was found during a traffic stop Tuesday on Interstate 5 near Ashland has been identified as Hipolito Carrillo, 41, of Ontario, Calif.

The man initially gave troopers a false name and birth date.

At about 7:40 a.m. Tuesday, an OSP trooper stopped a 2011 Nissan Altima with California license plates near Milepost 12 for a traffic violation.

A drug dog used during the stop indicated drugs were present and officers said they found 25 individual sealed packages of cocaine hidden inside the car.

Two passengers, an elderly woman and a boy, were released and not arrested, police said.

Carillo remained lodged in the Jackson County Jail Thursday on charges of possession, delivery and manufacture of cocaine, first-degree child neglect and suspicion of being in the country illegally. He was being held without bail.
 

Mexican drug cartels infiltrate U.S. cities

Alert date: 
July 20, 2012
Alert body: 

OFIR could send out a report nearly every week about the arrest of another illegal alien bringing illicit drugs into Oregon. Most often the arrest is of a Mexican national driving up I-5 into Oregon from California with illegal drugs, likely for one of the Mexican drug cartels.
 

If you click onto the link to the map in the story here  you will find that Portland, Salem, Eugene, Medford and Klamath Falls are Oregon cities that have been infiltrated by the Mexican drug cartels.
 

The most important document a drug distributor can possess is a valid U.S. driver license. It is their “passport” that enables them to drive up and down I-5 and sell meth, cocaine and heroin. The fact that our Governor, John Kitzhaber, is on record advocating giving Oregon driver licenses to illegal aliens should send chills up everyone’s back.

Has Your City Been Infiltrated by Mexican Drug Cartels? Find Out Here

Forget drug cartels being a Mexican problem, they have infiltrated thousands of U.S. cities and are running complex and lucrative drug operations right under our noses. After all, we are their biggest and most relied upon customer.  Using information from a report released by the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Post was able to identify the trafficking routes and bases of various Mexican drug cartels. And it may shock you just how deeply embedded they are in America.

Unsuspecting cities like Portland, Denver, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago, Seattle, Louisville, Memphis, Boston, Minneapolis, Dallas and so many more have a reported drug cartel presence. The gangs move heroin, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines to feed America’s massive drug habit, and they do so gleefully as they rake in billions of dollars in profit.

So which cartels have actually been “confirmed’ to be in America? To name a few, the Tijuana Cartel, Juarez Cartel, Gulf Cartel, Federation Cartel and numerous gangs with “unknown affiliation.”  Curiously, two of Mexico’s most powerful and ruthless cartels, the Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel, are not included in the report. But make no mistake, their tentacles reach the U.S. as well.

Texas is particularly affected by the drug cartel invasion. The Gulf Cartel appears to control much of east Texas while the Juarez Cartel divides up the west. Further, the drug routes moving out of the Lone Star State and into other states are many.  “Cocaine is the most lucrative of illegal drugs. The United Nations estimates that sales of the drug net $88 billion a year on the street. While the largest federations were once Columbian, now it appears they are Mexican.          The UN estimates two-thirds of cocaine that left the Andean region of South America for the United States in 2008 passed through the hands of Mexican cartels,” the National Post reports.

This graphic from the National Post breaks down the routes visually and shows where the drug cartels are operating. It also shows the number of drug related deaths in various categories, which now totals more than 50,000 since 2006. Has your city been infiltrated?

[Link to the National Post’s illustrated maps: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/13/mexican-drug-cartels-spreading-influence-graphic/]
 

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - drugs