PENDLETON, Ore. -- A year-long investigation into drug and firearm trafficking in Oregon and southeast Washington led to Thursday's arrest of 29 people.
The multi-agency investigation is ongoing and the names of those arrested will be released Monday to prevent any impact to the ongoing operation, police said.
According to Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts, Board Chair of the Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team (BENT), approximately 110 officers from federal, state, and local agencies moved throughout northeast Oregon and southeast Washington Thursday morning to begin serving 27 search warrants on homes, a storage locker and vehicles. The operation also sought to arrest several suspects with outstanding warrants related to the investigation. Police were also looking into at least 30 other locations.
Investigators said their goal was to dismantle a drug trafficking organization that has been operating in Umatilla, Morrow, and Union counties, as well as southeast Washington and southern Oregon.
As of 1 p.m. Thursday, police seized the following related to this investigation:
- 6.5 lbs of methamphetamine
- 1/2 ounce heroin
- Nearly 800 prescription medication pills
- 23 pounds of processed marijuana
- Approximately 200 marijuana plants
- Four indoor marijuana grow sites
- Eleven handguns and one silencer
- Ten long barrel firearms, including 1 assault rifle and 1 shotgun
Law enforcement and other agencies involved in the investigation and today's operation include:
- Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team
- Pendleton Police Department
- Umatilla Police Department
- Hermiston Police Department
- Umatilla County Sheriff's Office
- Morrow County Sheriff's Office
- Union County Sheriff's Office
- Milton-Freewater Police Department
- Umatilla Tribal Police Department
- Oregon State Police Drug Enforcement Section, Criminal Investigation Division, Patrol Services Division, Fish & Wildlife Division, SWAT, and Evidence Technician
- Tri-Cities Metro
- High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Interdiction Team
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- US Marshals
- Immigration & Customs Enforcement
- Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE)
- Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET)
- Union/Wallowa Drug Task Force
- Baker County Narcotics Enforcement Team
- Umatilla County District Attorney's Office
- US Attorney's Office, Oregon and Eastern District of Washington
- Oregon Department of Justice
- Department of Human Services
Photographs are courtesy of the Oregon State Police.