“Agents have developed evidence of connections between the meth ring located in Klamath County and Mexican drug cartels,” according to a statement from the state Justice Department. “The cartels have successfully made inroads into Oregon, particularly into some rural parts of the state.”
Police arrested 38 people and searched 23 locations in predawn raids Wednesday in Klamath County, dismantling a “large and violent” drug organization linked to Mexican drug cartels. Ten people were still being sought.
Law enforcement officials said it was the largest one-day roundup of drug-dealing suspects in recent Oregon history.
The investigation, “Operation Trojan Horse,” was begun after the bodies of two suspected drug traffickers from California were found shot and buried last October on a ranch outside Bonanza, a tiny community 25 miles east of Klamath Falls.
Wednesday’s raids, led by Special Weapons and Tactics teams and involving 300 officers from local, state and federal agencies, hit homes and businesses in Klamath Falls, Chiloquin, Malin and Bonanza to break up a large methamphetamine trafficking organization. The group also trafficked in guns, authorities said. The investigation was orchestrated by the state Criminal Justice Division, a unit of Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s office.
Police, who also searched 22 cars and trucks, seized 4 pounds of meth and 25 guns. They acquired another 25 guns earlier in the investigation. Eight children found at raid sites were turned over to state social service workers.