‘Wake-up call’ by sheriff’s deputies nets meth, cocaine, and $20-grand

If the alleged dope dealer thought he’d hide behind his wife and 2-year-old baby, he was wrong. Look at this, and you’ll see what Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Deputies saw ‚Ķ

These bags of dope won’t be on the street tonight, thanks to a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office bust.

Story by David F. Ashton
While some neighbors might have wondered why Apt. #22 at 17440 E Burnside St. had so many short-staying visitors, others suspected the occupant was selling drugs.

But, law enforcement doesn’t take action based on opinions.

“Before we get a search warrant,” explains Lt. Jason Gates, Public Information Officer, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MSCO), “undercover agents or confidential informants make at least three buys from a location, to demonstrate probable cause for drug distribution.”

7:00 a.m. wake-up call
Early on February 9, the occupants of this apartment are awakened by MSCO Special Investigations Unit Detectives – search warrant in hand.

The occupants also get to meet Nikki, the drug-detecting dog. It doesn’t take long for the team to locate several pre-packaged amounts methamphetamine and cocaine ‚Äì ready for sale. They also find a stash of $20,500 in cash.

This is what $20-grand in drug-tainted cash looks like, Sheriff’s Deputies say.

Baby in the home
Even worse, this alleged dope dealer didn’t live alone. He was found with his wife and 2-year-old daughter, when taken into custody

Sheriff’s Deputies allege that Alejandro Cruz-Hernandez was a low-level drug dealer in East County.

“Alejandro Cruz-Hernandez was taken into custody without incident,” reports Gates. “It is believed the narcotics attributed to Cruz-Hernandez very likely originated from Mexican drug cartels. Cruz-Hernandez is acting as the end-distributor of these narcotics after they were trafficked into the US and Oregon.”
Dealer demographic shift

Gates says that, in the past, Caucasian males were typically the dealers of home-grown meth. “And, we used to make seizures by the ounce; and now we’re seeing seizures by the pound. The flow of drugs into the country is accelerating; we’re now seeing more Hispanic males becoming dealers.”

We asked Lt. Gates why we’re finding that many of the dealers now apprehended have families.

“I’m not attributing it necessarily to this case,” Gates replies, “but some families brought into the United States have a debt to pay by to the coyotes [smugglers] who got them in. They agree to distribute drugs in exchange for coming to the United States.”

Cruz-Hernandez has been charged with PCS II-Methamphetamine, PCS II-Cocaine, DCS II-Methamphetamine, DCS II-Cocaine, DCS II within 1000 feet of a school, and endangering the welfare of a minor. He is being held on $100,000.00 bail and an INS hold at the Multnomah County Detention Center.

All photos provided by MSCO
© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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