Residents of Central Oregon witnessed a rather unusual scene yesterday, when Central Oregon Drug Enforcement teams descended on neighborhoods throughout Madras and Redmond, raiding homes and arresting nine.
On Sept. 27, a joint operation involving the FBI and DEA, charged nine with allegedly aiding in a major drug ring in the Central Oregon area. The suspects were charged with a slew of federal charges from a year-long investigation that began in 2016. Charges ranged from conspiracy to distribute and possess methamphetamine and heroin, and outstanding arrest warrants. Officers also removed 11 drug-endangered children, filing mandatory charges of child abuse reports and place five minors with the Jefferson County Child Welfare service.
"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, Mauricio Lima, 36 and Isaac Dominguez, 32, both of Madras, are alleged to have operated two cells distributing large quantities 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,” wrote Beth Anne Steele, the FBI’s Oregon public affairs spokesperson. “The investigators believe that the other defendants served under Lima and Dominguez to move the drugs to lower-level sellers and users.”
"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.
Federal defendants made an initial court appearance this afternoon, Sept. 28, at the U.S. District Courthouse in Eugene. 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.
"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 Loren Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. "Together they have made our shared community safer by taking dangerous drugs and guns off the streets."
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)
- Lindsey 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 — 3 counts (state charges)
- Juan Jose Vega, age 27, of Culver, Oregon
“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.”