Sheriff’s Office four-month investigation leads to drug bust

See what it took for MCSO deputies to bust this dope-peddling ring, run by illegal aliens (oops, undocumented visitors)

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputies say these balloons aren’t party decorations – they contain heroin and cocaine, packaged for sale. MCSO photo

Story by David F. Ashton
The investigation leading to a substantial drug bust on Thursday, February 26, started with a tip from Multnomah County’s Parole and Probation department – as many of them do, according to Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) spokesman Dep. Paul McRedmond.

“About four months ago, the tip provided to our Special Investigations Unit (SIU) got deputies to start watching a group of people in inner SE Portland,” McRedmond told us. “Working with confidential informants, and many agencies, we keep track of people who are involved with narcotics trafficking.”

Over time, the MCSO SIU deputies followed leads, went on surveillance missions and started building their case. “This led to a traffic stop outside the house,” McRedmond said. “From there, we applied for a search warrant for their house.”

Getting a search warrant, McRedmond informed us, takes more than just filling out a form. “Search warrant applications are somewhat complex, and must be complete. It contains a ‘resume’ that details the facts of the investigation, and tells why law enforcement officers should be trusted to enter someone’s private property and search for more evidence.”

In other words, he added, they must prove to a judge why there is “probable cause to suspend a person’s freedoms in the pursuit of prosecuting crime.”

In addition to the dope they found, deputies also found this wad of cash at the suspected drug house. MCSO photo

A judge believed there was enough evidence presented by the deputies, and issued a search warrant permitting deputies to enter a residence in the 8700 block of SE 67th Avenue., near SE Crystal Springs Boulevard, near the southern border of Multnomah County.

“Inside the home, in various places, were found over 40 ‘balloons’ of heroin packaged for sale (24 grams, worth $4,000), and 8 grams of cocaine (worth $800), along with $5,100 in cash,” reported McRedmond. “Deputies also found scales, and drug-packaging materials.”

These three “visitors” – Lucy Castro, Carlos Cruz, and Dennis Lopez – won’t be allegedly selling dope for quite a while, MCSO Officials say.

In addition to the dope, deputies cuffed and took into custody three illegal aliens: 35 year-old Lucy Elena Castro, 36 year-old Carlos Javier Cruz, and 24 year-old Dennis Lopez. They are charged with several counts of possession and distribution of cocaine and heroin. These alleged dope peddlers are suspected for selling heroin and cocaine in the Portland, Gresham, and Clackamas.
In addition to the drug selling charges, the trio has an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) “hold” on them.

This investigation continues.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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