MADRAS, OR -- We’re learning more about raids conducted by federal agents on homes in Madras and Redmond, earlier this week. Nine people appeared in federal court in Eugene, Thursday. They face charges related to an alleged drug distribution network. Three others were arrested on local and state charges.
Agents identified 11 "drug-endangered" minors; five were taken into custody by Jefferson County Child Welfare.
The joint operation involved the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team. The investigation began in 2016, and the FBI believes the network trafficked heroin and meth throughout the region. In a series of searches conducted in conjunction with Wednesday's arrests, investigators also recovered 10 weapons. Click HERE
to read details released by the FBI.
"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," U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said in a statement.
Those arrested are from Madras, Redmond, Warm Springs, Bend and Culver:
Mauricio Lima, Isaac Dominguez and Sherry Harper are charged with Conspiracy to distribute meth and heroin (federal)
Heather Boynton, Desmond Plazola, Leonel Barajas and Trevor Billingsley are charged with Conspiracy to distribute meth (federal)
Preston Mortensen is charged with Possession with intent to distribute meth and heroin (federal)
Marlena Biever is charged with Possession with intent to distribute meth (federal)
Juan Jose Vega was arrested for meth possession, delivery of meth within 1,000 feet of a school and being a felon in possession of a firearm (state charges)
Eric Wilkinson was arrested for an outstanding Jefferson County warrant
Lindsy Haney was arrested for an outstanding Deschutes County warrant
Prior to Wednesday's raids, CODE arrested Colt Sipp, of Umatilla, on state charges; he now also faces federal charges for possession with intent to distribute meth.
Investigators believe Lima and Dominguez operated two cells in Madras, serving as distributors of meth and heroin to a large customer base in the region. They believe the rest of the defendants served under Lima and Dominguez to move 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," DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis said in a statement.