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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.

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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.



    1. I guarantee he’s from “BEND!” I can tell because he doesn’t seem that bright!Probably a longtime “Local” Born and raised. A Victim of others moving here and raising the prices of housing, building resentment and anger towards others he deems to be “outsiders”.

  1. Any word on if the cops got all that this 🤡 threw out on the highway or if some motorists were able to abscond some for themselves and they vanished quicker than Gary Wright’s career after dream Weaver.🤠

  2. Felon, commits additionally felonious acts, in possession of a stolen gun, and the morally superior folks of KTVZ determined that posting his name or mugshot would be disrespectful.

    1. New state law 1/1 prohibits mugshot release with a few exceptions (suspect being sought etc.) None on county jail site any more, for example.
      And yes, others are starting to not automatically put info out there, it is a change for sure. But not just us. Social media mobs/anonymous commenters are a big reason why, as should be evident.

          1. You are making excuses Barney. Press release from CODE last night releases his name. Other news agencies publish this information. KTVZ is a poor news agency.

            Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) – 01/13/22 6:20 PM


            Date: January 13th, 2022

            Released by: Sergeant Kent Vander Kamp

            1. No, I am stating our 10-station company’s policy for over a year. I have even noticed our competitors not automatically naming all suspects. AP has taken similar steps.
              I never said it cannot be found elsewhere.

              1. it’s a good thing as we have a system with the foundation of innocent until proven guilty. though the statement in this case seems rock solid, we just never know.

    2. Absolutely have to protect the criminals, after all, “Criminal Justice System” is JUSTICE FOR CRIMINALS, and to HELL with victims. This is the Demonrats way to destroy this country. Direct correlation by elected politicians that demonrat followers vote into public office.

  3. What’s the problem here? I thought lower quantities of this junk is now ok within our new progressive permissive society. Wasn’t the destination of these larger amounts towards the individual users?
    Perp should have set illegal grow ops in SW Oregon where Klown Brown allows cartels to thrive with reckless abandon.
    Surprisingly environmental groups aren’t freaking out about these outfits destroying land and water systems down there.

  4. Should I remind you, he is only a suspect now. Maybe evidence will show someone else was driving and throwing drugs out the window. He was just strolling through the woods and was inadvertently caught.

        1. I know you are lonely and frustrated, maybe even a bit scared. It’s ok to have these feelings. Perhaps take a walk in Legion Park in Redmond and speak to the 2-3 unhoused families living in the parking lot. You might look at things differently then.

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