OSP traffic stops on I-84, I-5 turn up sizable amounts of fentanyl, other drugs; suspects charged
(Update: Adding suspects' names)
SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – A pair of recent Oregon State Police traffic stops on Interstate 84 near La Grande and I-5 near Salem led to the arrest of two drug trafficking suspects and federal charges and seizure of large amounts of fentanyl, cocaine and other drugs found in their vehicles, authorities said Tuesday.
Around 6:40 a.m. last Friday, an OSP trooper stopped a vehicle driven by Moises Rojo Velazquez, 36, of Phoenix, Arizona heading west on I-84 in the La Grande area, officials said. He was accompanied by a passenger and the passenger’s 17-year-old daughter.
During the stop, the trooper observed signs of criminal activity. That led to a search of the vehicle, in which a second trooper located a large camo bag on the rear floorboard that contained more than 100,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, two pounds of powdered fentanyl, six pounds of cocaine and three kilograms of heroin, according to OSP and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Rojo Velazquez, charged with possessing and intent to distribute fentanyl, made his first appearance Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland and was ordered held pending further proceedings, Department of Justice prosecutors said.
On Saturday around 9:15 a.m., an OSP trooper out of the Salem Area Command stopped a vehicle on I-5 near Salem for a traffic violation, authorities said. The driver was Miguel Cruz-Barrales, 22; his place of residence could not be determined.
The trooper observed signs of criminal activity and asked for consent to search the vehicle. The driver denied consent but admitted to importing marijuana from California, troopers said.
OSP K-9 Titan was deployed and alerted to two duffel bags in the trunk, the Department of Justice said.
They contained numerous packages that contained 51 pounds of suspected methamphetamine, 31 pounds of suspected powdered fentanyl, nine pounds of suspected cocaine and two pounds of suspected heroin.
OSP said both occupants of the vehicle were detained, interviewed and lodged at the Multnomah County Jail on federal drug charges.
Federal prosecutors said Cruz-Barrales made his first federal court appearance Monday and was ordered held pending further proceedings.
Both cases were investigated jointly by OSP and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon.