REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team detectives arrested a 50-year-old Portland man after a brief struggle at a downtown Redmond bar Monday night, accused of importing large quantities of drugs into Central Oregon, including potentially life-threatening counterfeit opioid pills.
The arrest came after a month-long investigation of a report regarding the man’s drug activities, Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp said. He also had an outstanding warrant for a felony parole violation in Multnomah County.
Detectives, assisted by Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies, conducted surveillance Monday night and contacted the suspect around 10:30 p.m. at a bar on Southwest Fifth Street, where he was taken into custody after a brief struggle, Vander Kamp said.
No one was injured during the arrest, in which a loaded pistol with an obliterated serial number was found in the man’s waistband, the sergeant said.
Detectives also found a large amount of cash and commercial quantities of fraudulent oxycodone pills called “Blues” for their common color, or “M30s” for the stamp typically found on each pill.
Vander Kamp said the pills are often meant to appear like oxycodone, the common pain-killer, but are likely made with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, similar to morphine but up to 100 times more potent.
“The cheap, counterfeit opioid pills containing fentanyl are thought to be fueling an increase in fatal drug overdoses across Oregon,” Vander Kamp said in a news release.
A search warrant was obtained for the man’s Mercedes-Benz, where detectives found commercial quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, as well as more counterfeit opioid pills, Vander Kamp said.
The man was booked into the county jail on a variety of drug and other charges, including resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license and felon in possession of a weapon. The case will be forwarded to federal and county prosecutors for charging consideration, he added.