In the largest coordinated series of drug busts in Central Oregon history, about 100 officers and agents from more than a dozen federal, state and local agencies raided eight homes across the High Desert, making 14 arrests and seizing marijuana, methamphetamine and 17 guns to break up a major methamphetamine-trafficking ring, authorities said Friday.
The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team on Friday revealed the scope of the raids that took place around 6 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, all within an hour of each other.
“It's going to disrupt the flow of drugs into the Central Oregon region, and obviously that's our point,” CODE Team Lt. Ken Mannix told NewsChannel 21 after he detailed the raids, arrests and agencies involved in a news release.
CODE Team detectives, assisted by about 15 law enforcement agencies, executed eight search warrants at homes in Bend, Madras and Culver, Mannix said.
Last year, CODE Team detectives identified a large-scale organization throughout Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties, “responsible for the trafficking of significant quantities of methamphetamine for several years,” Mannix said.
Detectives were able to identify the leaders of the drug ring, as well as “middle managers” assigned to carry out the making and dealing of large amounts of meth.
CODE Team detectives also identified several regular customers responsible for “lower-level operations, which included the delivery of street-level quantities” of meth, Mannix said.
“Any time you get an operation of this magnitude, it takes a collaborative approach from all of our partners in law enforcement throughout the state of Oregon to come together,” Mannix told NewsChannel 21. “This organization operated though out the Central Oregon region, and this goes from the leadership down through the middle management and down to the customer base.”
Among evidence seized during the raids: meth, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, scales, packaging material, cash, cars and 17 guns, some concealed in places like crawlspaces, Mannix said. They also found a stolen cargo trailer, quad and car engine.
No total amount or cash value for the drugs seized has been released, though Mannix called it “a multi-pond operation.” He also declined to name the leaders specifically, but called it the single largest CODE Team operation, in terms of its breadth and those involved. CODE is supported by the Oregon High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program.
The eight raids took place at 63930 N. Hwy. 97, No. 15, Bend; 675 NE Bellevue Drive No. 401, Bend; 785 SW Madison, Madras; 105 A Street, Culver; 61270 SW Brookswood Blvd., Bend; 1174 NE Hollinshead, Bend; 15334 NW O’Neil Hwy., Redmond; and 19849 Third Street, Tumalo.
The 14 arrested on drug-related charges included 11 Bend residents: Teodoro Villagas Varela, 26; Jose Rodolfo Auguilar-Lopez, 26; Carolyn Orrell, 44; Nicholas Katchia, 24; Justin Hamilton, 37; Angela Hamel, 29; Sarah Taylor, 25; Jason Prader, 39; Ronald Decker, 40; and Heather Cordier, 24; Justin Montoya, 30., along with Henry Adame-Sanchez, 35, of Madras; Teddy Hull, 51, of Crook County; and Cheryl Flarisee, 55, of Tumalo.
The CODE Team thanked the other involved agencies, which included the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Marshal’s Service, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Oregon State Police, including the agency’s SWAT and HIT (Highway Interdiction) teams; the Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson County sheriff’s offices; the Bend, Prineville, Redmond and Sunriver police departments, Warm Springs Tribal Police, and the Blue Mountain and Rogue Area drug enforcement teams, along with the Oregon Army National Guard counter-drug operation.
Six remained in jail Friday, more than a week after the raids – one, Adame-Sanchez, held for ICE officials as a suspected illegal immigrant. Cordier was held without bail on a parole violation.