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More Details Out on Bend, Culver Meth Raids


The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team released more details Tuesday of last week?s raid on two Bend business locations and a Culver home, also identifying three suspects arrested on drug charges as agents seized two pounds of methamphetamine worth $40,000.

The locations raided last Thursday were identified as Rico?s Groceries at 226 NE Third St., Rico?s Market at 342 NE Burnside Ave., both in Bend, and 323 Meadow Drive in Culver.

Arrested were Antonio Rico Sanchez, 46, of Bend, Francisco Camancho, 29, of Culver, and Elio Diaz Diaz, 36, of Metolius. All three were booked into the Deschutes County Jail in Bend.

Sanchez, charged with meth possession and delivery, and with frequenting a place where drugs are used, posted 10 percent of his $27,500 bail and was released that day. Camancho and Diaz, both charged with meth delivery, remained in the jail Tuesday, held for federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents as suspected illegal immigrants.

Deschutes County Sheriff?s Street Crimes Unit detectives assisted CODE Team detectives in the three raids, resulting from a long investigation into trafficking of large quantities of methamphetamine into Central Oregon, said Lt. Ken Mannix.

Along with the drugs, agents seized drug records, a handgun, cash and other evidence of drug sales and distribution, Mannix said. He said other details were being withheld as the investigation continues and added, ?We?re looking at additional charges.?

Earlier story:

A popular Bend market and restaurant were the focus of a major drug raid Thursday morning in which methamphetamine worth $40,000 on the street was seized. Police descended on Rico’s Market on NE Third St. and Burnside in Bend with drug agents, a battering ram, police dogs and weapons, much to the surprise of neighbors.

Drug agents say they’ve been watching the three suspects who they arrested Thursday morning for two years. But for those who frequent Rico’s Market, they say they never saw it coming.

“Basically this morning, we saw a couple agents get out of their cars, and they came out guns drawn and basically bust in the windows to this market over here,” said Matt Markham, who works nearby. “They had two cops staged back there, and then about 10 of them walked in the front and busted in with a battering ram.”

Early Thursday morning, the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team raided the market and Rico’s Tacos down the street. Det. Ken Mannix said later they seized over two pounds of meth, with a street value of $40,000 or more.

Three people were arrested, including 46-year old Antonio Rico Sanchez, who was taken to jail and faces charges of meth delivery, possession and frequenting a place where it’s sold or kept. The other names have yet to be released.

It’s been a bust two years in the making, police said. The drug wasn’t being made there, but according to officers, it was stored there. They wouldn’t yet offer more details, or say if sales were occurring involving customers to the market.

“We go there pretty normally, get a couple of drinks when we’re thirsty,” Markham said. “Other than that, we really didn’t see anything that was out of the ordinary.”

As for Rico’s Market, the business has now been released back to the owners, and police say they can open it back up.

But all the police activity is still fresh on the minds of those who saw it.

“I’ve been here for over 20 years of my life, and that’s the first time I’ve seen something like that happen,” Markham said.

If it sounds unusual that Rico’s Market can open back up, we’re told that it’s not. As Mannix told me, the business was not the focus of the investigation, but it’s what was going on in and around the business that was illegal.

Mannix stressed that the drugs were not found at either the market or restaurant, though more details won’t be immediately released as the investigation continues.

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