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Crook County drug trafficking suspect arrested in guns-drawn traffic stop; raid on car, house turn up meth, fentanyl, guns, cash

CODE investigation led to Juniper Canyon guns-drawn traffic stop, arrest, raid on car, home that found butane honey oil lab, methamhetamine, fentanyl and two guns
C.O. Drug Enforcement Team
CODE investigation led to Juniper Canyon guns-drawn traffic stop, arrest, raid on car, home that found butane honey oil lab, methamhetamine, fentanyl and two guns

DA says Prineville area has had four overdoses - two fatal - this week alone

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Crook County methamphetamine and fentanyl trafficker was arrested Thursday in a guns-drawn traffic stop and arraigned Friday on seven felony drug and firearms charges after a raid on his car and Juniper Canyon home turned up drugs, two pistols, cash and a butane honey oil lab, authorities said.

A long-term surveillance operation and investigation of Charles David McQuage, 60, by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team led to a high-risk traffic stop at milepost 1 on Juniper Canyon Road, Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp said.

The road was briefly closed while Crook County sheriff’s deputies and Prineville Police officers conducted the stop around 8 p.m., Vander Kamp said. CODE detectives detained McQuage without incident and the road was quickly reopened, the sergeant said. Oregon State Police and the Redmond Police Street Crimes Unit also took part in the operation.

Late last year, drug agents identified McQuage as a meth and fentanyl trafficker. A preliminary investigation alleges he “has been involved in the substantial distribution” of the two drugs “in and around the Prineville and Crook County areas, Vander Kamp said.

CODE detectives also secured a search warrant for McQuaqe’s 2009 Infinity FX35 and his home on SE Davis Loop, southeast of Prineville.

During a search of the car and home, the latter starting around midnight, drug agents seized a commercial quantity of methamphetamine, fentanyl in both powder and pill form, a 9mm pistol and a 9mm AR-style pistol, Vander Kamp said, as well as a butane honey oil (BHO) extraction lab, a “significant amount” of cash and butane, along with other evidence of his involvement in drug distribution.

McQuage was booked into the Crook County Jail on charges of meth and fentanyl distribution, manufacture and possession, as well as unlawful manufacture of a marijuana item (the BHO lab) and felon in possession of a firearm.

He was arraigned Friday afternoon on a seven-count initial charging document, all Class B and C felonies: methamphetamine delivery and possession, the latter labeled a "commercial drug offense," as well as other drug charges involving fentanyl and felon in possession of a firearm. Bail was set at $250,000 pending arraignment next Friday on an expected formal grand jury indictment.

However, Vander Kamp said the case has been presented to the US Attorney's Office, and it could shift in coming days from a state case to a federal one.

Crook County District Attorney Kari Hathorn said, “I congratulate the CODE team on their efforts here in Crook County.

"In the face of the devastating impact that fentanyl is having on our community, the Prineville area alone witnessed four overdose emergencies that led to two tragic deaths this week alone," she said. "It is imperative for law enforcement to intensify our efforts against this deadly crisis. It has never been more critical. 

"We must unite in our resolve, leveraging every resource at our disposal to combat this epidemic, safeguarding not just the present but the future of our community," Hathorn continued.

"Let the losses we've endured fuel our commitment to ensuring that such tragedies are not repeated but serve as a catalyst for change. The fight against fentanyl is not just about law enforcement; it's about preserving the very fabric of our society."

Oregon court records show no prior criminal charges against McQuage, only a 2018 Crook County ticket for driving without a license, to which he pleaded no contest and was fined $135.

But Vander Kamp said of the felon in possession of a firearm charge that McQuage has "what I can best describe as extensive" criminal histories in Florida, Nevada and North Carolina.

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

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Barney Lerten

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