Man's home, warehouse raided as part of national DEA operation

Man's home, warehouse raided as part of national DEA operation

PORTLAND, Ore. – Federal agents in Vancouver, Washington County and at dozens of other locations around the country conducted raids as part of a massive synthetic drug operation on Wednesday.

Both the house and warehouse raided locally belong to Joshua Becker of Tigard. Currently, he's in the Multnomah County Jail, but he'll be headed to Idaho where he's wanted for distributing synthetic drugs.

A Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman said the raid in Vancouver and the one near Tigard on Wednesday morning were part of Operation Log Jam, a nationwide operation targeting synthetic designer drugs.

Those drugs include things often marketed as incense, bath salts and plant food, according to the DEA.

One of the raids was at a warehouse on Northeast 76th Avenue in Vancouver. A KATU reporter saw at least a half-dozen agents removing boxes from the building and putting them in a truck.

The agents asked that we not shoot video or take pictures of their faces.

The second raid happened at Becker's home on Southwest Summerview Drive in Washington County near the Tigard city line.

Chip Hay watched the raid on Becker's warehouse as it went down. Agents hauled away scales, packaging material and dry plants to make synthetic marijuana.

"The bay over there where they did the main raid they emptied – I guess they emptied the whole thing out," he said.

But he also noticed something strange at the warehouse Tuesday night.

"I don't know what was going on. Pallets of boxes they were loading up in a couple of different rigs and taking them out of here," he said.

People who live next door to Becker in an upscale neighborhood saw another raid.

"We knew that at 4:30 this morning when the bombs went off in the house, and I dropped out of bed fearing for my life," said Jeff Fehr.

And they said they've seen and heard plenty from Becker in the year or so since he moved in.

"We saw something off," said Fehr. "It wasn't good – being outside pacing back and forth, yelling and screaming about business deals. It just wasn't normal."

They've heard about his felony warrant in Idaho, about his "chemist" and about making millions of dollars.

"I've seen people watching the house over the last months," Fehr said. "There have been many calls to the house over the last months. So I knew there was probably something going on."

For Fehr and others in the neighborhood they are happy things have finally quieted down.

"It keeps our families and our kids safe. So thank you to the DEA," Fehr said.

According to federal authorities, Becker has a rap sheet going back to 1999 that includes theft, forgery, fraud, and skipping out on court dates.

Other Operation Log Jam raids happened in almost 100 cities.

DEA spokeswoman Jodie Underwood said she couldn't give us many details about the local raids, although she said there would be a news conference on Thursday in Washington, D.C. about the nationwide operation.

Underwood said members of the public were not in any immediate danger from people connected to these raids.