Mon, Feb 5, 2024 12:45 PM
By Tom Joyce, The Center Square
Four alleged drug traffickers with suspected ties to a Mexico-based transnational criminal organization face federal charges this week after being caught transporting nearly 370 gallons of liquid heroin. The 1.4 tons of the drug is enough to give everyone in Oregon a lethal dose
Marco Antonio Magallon, 44; Luis Deleon Woodward, 26; and Jorge Luis Amador, 25, all residents of Yakima, Washington, and Santos Alisael Aguilar Maya, 32, whose residency is unknown, have been charged by criminal complaint with "conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and possess with intent to distribute heroin," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon.
On January 24, 2024, as part of an ongoing, multi-agency drug trafficking investigation, law enforcement received information that four people were working for an international criminal organization and that they were transporting large amounts of illegal narcotics into Oregon.
Between late January 24 and early January 25, investigators saw Amador driving a rented moving truck and a pickup truck accompanying it traveling west on Interstate 84 near Bonneville, Oregon.
Investigators saw the vehicles go to a motel in Tigard, Oregon; the vehicles also made a quick stop in a commercial parking lot in Beaverton, Oregon.
Later in the day on January 25, investigators executed federal search warrants on the defendants’ motel room and two vehicles. Investigators found and seized eight 55-gallon barrels containing about 370 gallons of a liquid narcotic inside the moving truck, plus two loaded handguns inside the motel room. Law enforcement then arrested the four defendants.
Investigators brought the 1.4 metric tons of seized narcotics to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office narcotics room. Lab tests eventually confirmed the barrels in question contained liquid heroin.
Homeland Security Investigations, WCSO, and the Westside Interagency Narcotics Team are investigating this case; Scott M. Kerin, assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon, is prosecuting it.