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FBI, DEA, and Code Join Forces to Take Down Major Drug Trafficking Network in Central Oregon


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On Wednesday, September 27, 2017, a joint operation involving the FBI, DEA, and Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team resulted in the federal arrest of nine people charged with participation in a drug distribution network operating in the Madras/Redmond area. CODE officers and deputies arrested three others on state charges. Two of those additional arrests involved outstanding warrants; the third was a probable cause arrest for drug and weapons charges. All arrests were without incident. The federal defendants will each make an initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Jolie A. Russo at the U.S. District Courthouse in Eugene at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 28, 2017.

As part of this operation, law enforcement also identified 11 drug-endangered minors. Jefferson County Child Welfare took immediate custody of five of these children, and the FBI filed mandatory child abuse reports for all identified minors. Law enforcement partnered with victim assistance programs within the FBI and Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office as well as with Jefferson County Child Welfare.

Since this investigation began in 2016, law enforcement believes the organization has trafficked both heroin and methamphetamine throughout Central Oregon. In a series of searches conducted in conjunction with the arrests on Wednesday, investigators also recovered ten weapons.
All defendants and charges are as follows:

Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin (federal)

  • Lima, Mauricio, age 36 of Madras, Oregon
  • Dominguez, Isaac, age 32 of Madras, Oregon
  • Harper, Sherry, age 45 of Redmond, Oregon

Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (federal)

  • Boynton, Heather, age 26 of Madras, Oregon
  • Plazola, Desmond, age 29 of Warm Springs, Oregon
  • Barajas, Leonel, age 29 of Madras, Oregon
  • Billingsley, Trever, age 26 of Madras, Oregon

Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin (federal)

  • Mortensen, Preston, age 29 of Bend, Oregon

Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (federal)

  • Biever, Marlena, age 38 of Redmond, Oregon

Parole violation charge (Jefferson County warrant)

  • Eric Brian Wilkinson, age 23, hometown unknown

Failure to Appear for theft 3rd degree (Deschutes County warrant)

  • Lindsy Renee Haney, age 22, of Redmond, Oregon

Unlawful possession of methamphetamine (state charge)
Unlawful delivery of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school (state charge)
Felon in possession of a firearm—three counts (state charges)

  • Juan Jose Vega, age 27, of Culver, Oregon

In addition to these arrests, CODE and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office previously arrested Colt Sipp, age 51 of Umatilla, Oregon, on state charges. He now also faces a federal charge of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

“This unified law enforcement effort is a significant step in dismantling a drug trafficking organization profiting off the destruction of families and communities in Central Oregon suffering the ravages of drug addiction,” said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon.

According to investigators, Lima and Dominguez are alleged to have operated two cells in the Madras, Oregon area, and, as such, served as distributors of methamphetamine and heroin to a large customer base in Central Oregon. The cells worked in coordination with each other to supply drugs and transfer funds to further the conspiracy using code in their communications in an attempt to hide their illegal activity. The investigators believe that the other defendants served under Lima and Dominguez to move the drugs to lower-level sellers and users.

“The work done by these agents, officers, detectives, and deputies will have real and lasting impacts for those who live in Central Oregon. This law enforcement team has, over a period of many months, taken direct aim at organized crime,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Loren Cannon in Oregon. “Together they have made our shared community safer by taking dangerous drugs and guns off the streets.”

“The successful operation this week was designed to counter the emerging threat in Central Oregon against organized crime fueled by methamphetamine and heroin trafficking,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis.

The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) team is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force supported by the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program and the following Central Oregon law enforcement agencies: Bend Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Redmond Police Department, Prineville Police Department, Crook County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Madras Police Department, Oregon State Police, Sunriver Police Department, Black Butte Police Department, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Warm Springs Tribal Police Department, Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson County District Attorney’s, and the Oregon National Guard.

The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement task forces to disrupt or dismantle local, multi-state and international drug trafficking organizations.

Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Huynh is prosecuting this case. A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and all defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Source: FBI

By

Robert Williams

Editor in Chief

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