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Bend trafficking suspect throws large packages of drugs on Hwy. 97 as he flees, later caught


BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A drug-trafficking suspect pulled over on Highway 97 south of Bend Thursday afternoon sped away after a K-9 detected drugs in his pickup, throwing large amounts of suspected drugs onto the highway as he fled, drug agents said. They soon found his abandoned truck in the woods, and a search involving a drone and another K-9 led to his arrest.

The arrest of the 37-year-old Bend man concluded a short-term investigation by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team, working with the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force, Deschutes County sheriff’s Sergeant Kent Vander Kamp said.

Detectives had identified the man as a trafficker in fentanyl and methamphetamine in Central Oregon, Vander Kamp said. After an extensive surveillance operation in several Oregon counties, the suspect was pulled over on Highway 97 north of Sunriver around 1:15 p.m.

During the stop, Bend Police narcotics K-9 Lady Bug alerted to the presence of drugs in the man’s pickup truck, the sergeant said.

At that point, he sped away and “threw large quantities of packaged methamphetamine and fentanyl, wrapped in plastic, from the truck onto the highway as he was fleeing,” Vander Kamp said in a news release. Detectives briefly closed the highway to collect the drug packages from the road.

Sheriff’s deputies briefly pursued the suspect before discontinuing the chase “for public safety interests,” he added.

Other detectives found the man’s truck off the highway and in the trees about three miles away, just south of the Baker Road exit.

The suspect got out and fled into the surrounding woods, prompting deputies and detectives to set a perimeter and search the area, assisted by a sheriff’s office drone and a Forest Service Law Enforcement tracking K-9.

Within minutes, the man was found running in the area and immediately surrendered when confronted by officers around 1:35 p.m., Vander Kamp said.

A search of the truck turned up more meth, heroin, fentanyl and miscellaneous prescription drugs. The previously convicted felon also was in possession of a stolen pistol at the time of his arrest, the sergeant said.

He was lodged in the Deschutes County Jail on numerous drug and other charges, including felony and misdemeanor attempt to elude, tampering with evidence, theft and felon in possession of a dangerous weapon. His bail of over $100,000 was enhanced by $500,000 under state law, due to commercial quantities of drugs found in his possession, Vander Kamp said.

CODE Team detectives were assisted by the sheriff’s office, Forest Service Law Enforcement, Sunriver Police Department and ODOT Incident Response.

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

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Barney Lerten

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