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INDEPENDENCE — Officers with multiple police agencies arrested 11 people in Independence early this morning, shutting down a large drug distribution network.

At about 4 a.m. Wednesday, Oregon State Police SWAT and a Polk County Special Response Team served search warrants in three locations in Independence in the culmination of a seven-month investigation.

“The drug trafficking organization being shut down today has been responsible for sales and distribution of significant quantities of methamphetamine and other drugs in our communities in Polk County through organized drug trafficking from other states,” said Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe. “The POINT Team has done an outstanding job today for our community and the safety of our children in shutting down this operation.”

The investigation began with the Polk County Interagency Narcotics Team (POINT). As the investigation grew, POINT was assisted by the Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon State Police and other mid-valley drug teams.

“Our first concern is always the safety of the public and the law enforcement officers involved,” said Independence Police Chief Vern Wells. “Due to our low staffing levels and the complexity of these types of investigations, I requested the assistance of outside agencies to quickly and safely secure the target properties.”

Arrested were:

* Juan Jose Virelas-Solorzano, 34, of Independence on charges of racketeering, six counts of delivering methamphetamine and one count of delivering cocaine. Bail: $6.7 million.

* Noralba Virelas-Pineda, 32, of Independence on charges of delivering methamphetamine, delivering heroin, conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine and conspiracy to deliver heroin. Bail: $2 million.

* Noe Nunez-Manzo, 28, of Independence on charges of racketeering and two counts of delivering methamphetamine. Bail $6.7 million.

* Jose Bertin Cruz-Estrada, 22, of Independence on charges of racketeering and conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. Bail: $500,000.

* Collene Amelia Walker, 37, of Independence on a charge of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine.

* Raul Megel Rodriquez, 29, of Independence on a charge of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. Bail: $50,000.

* Brenda Diaz-Diaz, 21, of Keizer on a charge of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. Bail: $40,000.

* Efrain Aispuro-Carrasco, 44, of Independence on charges of racketeering, 11 counts of delivering methamphetamine and two counts of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. Bail: $6.7 million.

* Rafael Telliz-Solorzano, 38, of Independence on charges of possession of methamphetamine and delivery of methamphetamine. Bail: $1 million.

* Roberto Ruiz-Sandoval, 42, of Independence on charges of racketeering and two counts of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. Bail: $6.7 million.

* Lisandro Rangel-Garcia, 22, of charges of racketeering, five counts of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine and conspiracy to deliver cocaine. Bail: $6.7 million.

Thirteen agencies and drug teams took part in the early morning search and arrests. The investigation began in July 2012 with a series of controlled buys of illegal drugs from suspects.

Additionally, two suspects were arrested before today’s operation:

On Dec. 8, a car carrying drugs to Polk County was stopped in Douglas County. Inside the vehicle were 6.5 pounds of methamphetamine, one pound of heroin and one pound of unidentified powder.

The driver and passenger, Sergio Gustavo Pineda-Villanueva, 23, and Faliciano Ayala-Cardenas, 31, were taken to Douglas County Jail, both on charges of racketeering, distribution of methamphetamine and distribution of heroin. Pineda-Villanueva is being held on $200,000 bail and an ICE hold and Ayala-Cardenas is being held on $100,000 bail and an ICE hold.

Four minor children of Virelas-Solorzano and Virelas-Pineda were taken into protective custody and will be placed in foster care.

The estimated street value of all drugs seized during this operation is $120,000 in methamphetamine and $19,000 for heroin.

 

 

 

 

http://www.polkio.com/ns/news/24799/1-9-breaking-news-major-drug-bust-in-independence

 

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