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2 face federal charges after E. Oregon traffic stop turns up 40 lbs. of hidden meth

Eastern Oregon methamphetamine heroin
U.S. Attorney's Office
About 40 pounds of methamphetamine and kilo of heroin were found hidden in SUV during Ontario-area traffic stop; driver, passenger face federal drug charges

And kilo of heroin; woman deported in 2013 allegedly brought drugs from Calif. for years

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A man and woman have been arrested on federal charges of interstate drug trafficking after a traffic stop in Eastern Oregon turned up about 40 pounds of methamphetamine and a kilo of heroin in a hidden compartment, U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced Friday.

Alma Lorena Pacheco Ortiz, 52, of Ontario, and Victor Gomez Casa 26, of Weiser, Idaho, have been charged by criminal complaint with possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, and Pacheco was also charged with possession of a firearm by a person unlawfully in the United States.

“Rural communities across Oregon have been ravaged by the effects of methamphetamine addiction,” Williams said. “We cannot succeed in breaking the cycle of addiction and affliction in these communities when individuals like the defendants, motivated by greed, continue to provide a steady supply of poison. We are proud of the collaborative efforts to disrupt this long-term drug trafficking enterprise.”

Ontario Police Chief Steven Romero said, “Communities are struggling to reduce or eliminate the physical and mental damage caused to individuals and communities by illicit drug addiction.”

“Area law enforcement continue to use a ‘force multiplier’ approach for disrupting or dismantling international, multi-state and local drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.  We’re proud work together with our law enforcement partners to make our communities safer.”

Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe said, “I applaud the work of federal, state and local law enforcement in this effort. People are being held accountable for serious illegal activity, which in turn makes our communities safer.”

Oregon State Police Captain Tim Fox said, “Oregon State Police troopers work diligently to observe signs of criminal activity during every traffic stop. As part of this coordinated effort, our OSP troopers engaged these observation skills, which proved fruitful in pulling a significant amount of drugs off the streets.”

 According to court documents, last Sunday, law enforcement conducted a coordinated traffic stop on a 2015 Chevy Tahoe with Idaho license plates. The driver of the car was Pacheco, and the passenger was the registered owner, Victor Gomez Casa.

A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a mechanically actuated trap located under the rear seat of the vehicle. Law enforcement was able to activate the trap, opening the storage compartment, which revealed approximately 40 pounds of methamphetamine and a kilo of heroin.

Federal prosecutors said Pacheco admitted traveling to California to obtain drugs, which she had been transporting and distributing in Eastern Oregon for several years.

On the same day, law enforcement served a federal search warrant at Pacheco’s residence in Ontario. During the search, Williams said, law enforcement located about $75,000 in U.S. currency, a firearm and additional suspected methamphetamine.

 Law enforcement records indicate Pacheco was deported in 2013 to Mexico, her country of origin.

Pacheco and Casa are expected to make initial appearance in federal court in the near future.

Oregon State Police, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office and Ontario Police Department investigated the case. It is being prosecuted by Marco Boccato, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

KTVZ news sources

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