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Drug Bust Biggest Ever in Corvallis, OregonTim King Salem-News.com
"The investigation has placed a bright light on a drug conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering enterprise, the likes of which have never before been uncovered in the City of Corvallis." - Captain Jonathan M. Sassaman, Corvallis Police
(CORVALLIS, Ore.) - Working with several other agencies, Corvallis Police busted a drug ring Tuesday that they say supplied many pounds of meth and cocaine to the mid-valley each week. Police anticipate that the amount of drugs being moved dwarfed anything the city has ever seen.
Before it was over, 11 people were in custody with bail amounts ranging from one million dollars to ten million for three of the individuals.
Corvallis Police and the other law enforcement agencies, created a task force focused on investigating a Criminal Conspiracy, Racketeering and Money Laundering drug organization.
Agencies helping Corvallis were the Oregon Department of Justice, Benton County District Attorney’s Office, Oregon State Police, the Meth. Initiative Task Force, Albany Police Department, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Blue Mountain Interagency enforcement and Narcotics Team, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the DEA.
On Wednesday, the task force served 19 search warrants related to the distribution of Methamphetamine and Cocaine in the mid-Willamette Valley.
Captain Jonathan M. Sassaman of the Corvallis Police Department says the Search Warrants are the culmination of a 16 month investigation into a highly organized, sophisticated and structured illegal drug trafficking and racketeering distribution enterprise.
"Defendants in this case, utilizing the cover of legitimate businesses in the Cities of Corvallis and Independence, operated as a primary distribution point for Methamphetamine and Cocaine in the Mid-Willamette Valley."
He says the investigation revealed that “La Poderosa Mexican Store” located at 1411 NW 9th Street in Corvallis, “Gregorios Auto Body” located at 4079 SE 3rd Street in Corvallis and “Del Valle Mexican Store” located at 1339 Monmouth Street, Independence, Oregon were used as cover for the drug trafficking and money laundering operations of the organization.
"The investigation has placed a bright light on a drug conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering enterprise, the likes of which have never before been uncovered in the City of Corvallis."
According to statistics, the Corvallis Police Department in 2006 seized 14.49 ounces of Methamphetamine, less than ½ ounce of Cocaine and just over 26 pounds of Marijuana.
The total amounts seized are yet to be determined, but Sassaman says that in a given week, this group moved between 6-10 pounds of methamphetamine, plus 1-2 kilo's of cocaine were being distributed through this organization to buyers throughout the mid-valley area.
"We know that by preventing this volume of illegal drugs from reaching the streets, completely disrupting and dismantling the drug organization, we have severely impacted the supply and availability of Methamphetamine and Cocaine in the mid-valley."
According to Sassaman, this investigation and others like it, should be a message to those who traffic in large quantities of illegal drugs "that they will be sought out, investigated, arrested and held responsible for trafficking in dangerous drugs which injure and ruin peoples lives."
27-year old Isidro Linares Andrade of Albany faces charges of Racketeering and Money Laundering. His bail Amount is $10,000,000.
30-year old Ricardo Linarez Andrade of Independence faces charges of Racketeering and Money Laundering. His bail is set at $10,000,000.
37-year old Irma Linares Munguia of Albany faces one charge of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering. Her bail Amount is $1,000,000.
21-year old Ashley Nicole Palomo of Albany faces one charge of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering. Her bail Amount is $1,000,000.
32-year old Jesus Monroy Lopez of Albany faces one charge of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering. His bail Amount is $1,000,000.
36-year old Jorge Soto Aquino of Albany faces one charge of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering. His bail Amount is $1,000,000.
32-year old Gregorio Hernandez of Albany faces one charge of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering. His bail Amount is $1,000,000.
28-year old Jose Bernal Ortiz of Corvallis faces one charge of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering. His bail Amount is $1,000,000.
41-year old Manuel Salgado Lujano of Creswell faces charges of Racketeering. His bail Amount: $10,000,000.
27-year old Nadia Fabiola Legorreta of Eugene faces a charge of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering. Her bail Amount is $1,000,000.
35-year old Raul Becerra Cardenas of Albany faces a criminal charge of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering. His bail Amount is $1,000,000.
A Grand Jury will meet in Benton County over this case Friday.
Corvallis Police included the following information about the various charges:
Racketeering: ORS 166.715 Using an “enterprise” (which can be either a business or an “association in fact” of individuals) which conducts a pattern of criminal activity for the same objective: i.e. selling drugs to make money. Conspiracy: ORS 161.450 An Agreement by two or more people to do something unlawful/criminal. Money Laundering: ORS 164.170 Using the proceeds of criminal activity to further the criminal enterprise or to use the proceeds of criminal activity to avoid federal reporting requirements.
Narcotic Weights to Street Value: (estimate only)
Methamphetamine: 1 lb equals 16oz. 28 grams in 1 oz. $80-100 per gram street value
Cocaine: 1 Kilo equals 2.2 lbs or 1000 grams $100 per gram street value
Marijuana: 1 lb. sells for between $3-5,000 street value
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