Pounds of meth seized in massive East County drug bust

Was one of the suspects – a former Portland Police Bureau Cadet – trying to live an upright life – or scouting out police procedures? That has yet to be known – but, being allegedly nabbed sitting on 24 pounds of “ice” …

Usually sold by the gram, or distributed by the ounce, here’s what 24 pounds of methamphetamine looks like. PPB photo

Story by David F. Ashton
As a Portland Police Bureau (PPB) vice squad detective once told us, “To be a successful drug dealer, people have to know that you have drugs to sell. The more word gets out that you have it, the more likely we’ll know about it.”

While PPB vice cops aren’t tipping their hand about what led them to a raid that netted 24 pounds – not ounces but pounds – of “ice”: a street name for methamphetamine (meth). But, moving this much illicit product, which is usually sold in grams, did attract the attention of authorities.

On February 22, investigators from PPB’s Drugs and Vice Division (DVD) decided they’d gotten enough information – with an assist to their compatriots in the Transit Police Division and the Gresham PD – to bust a couple of suspected big-time meth suppliers. They staked out an upscale apartment home in Gresham, not far from the East MAX Light Rail line.

A drug-sniffing dog’s search of this car, police say, gave them “probable cause” to obain a warrant to search the apartment of suspected meth dealers. PPB photo

“During the drug investigation of the residence – located at 20300 North Morrison Terrace Drive, Apt. #D2023, in Gresham – DVD officers performed a traffic stop on a vehicle leaving the residence,” reported PPB Public Information Officer, Lt. Kelli Sheffer.

And all it took was one whiff by a keen-nosed PPB K-9 Narcotics Detection Team pooch to indicate the odor of narcotics in the car.

“Through further investigation, DVD Investigators applied for and were granted search warrants for two vehicles,and the residence,” Sheffer went on.

Police say this is one of largest methamphetamine busts to date. PPB photo

“The search warrants yielded the seizure of 24 pounds of methamphetamine, one of the largest seizures of methamphetamine in Portland Police Bureau history,” revealed Sheffer. “The estimated street value of the methamphetamine seized is in excess $1 million.”

Police accuse these two men – 21-year-old Eladio Francisco Luna, and 18-year-old Igcacio Dejesus Luna – of manufacture, possession, and delivery of methamphetamine – lots of it. MCDC photos

Former PPB Cadet in custody
According to Sheffer, 21-year-old Eladio Luna and 18-year-old Igcacio Luna were taken into custody. They were charged with Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree.”

Members of the Portland Police Bureau Cadet corps must have been shocked to learn that one of their own, Eladio Luna, is one of the suspects in custody, accused of sitting on $1 million worth of meth.

The Cadets program teaches young people police procedures and provides them many public service opportunities. Luna participated from October,  2008, until May, 2010, when he resigned from his post,” stated Sheffer.

According to Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) information, the men are each being held in lieu of $2,000,000 bail.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland New

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