Sirens & Gavels

Calif. OxyContin sales traced to E. Wash.

A suspected large-scale OxyContin dealer in Southern California was arrested after the DEA tracked drug sales into Eastern Washington.

Robert Beron is accused of selling large amount of OxyContin to Mitchell Hargan, Marisol Hernandez, Jaime McGahuey and Kim Chavez of Wenatchee.

The DEA began investigating Beron in May 2010 through a confidential informant.

Beron, who traveled to Washington regularly, told the informant he was still able to get the old OxyContin pills distributed before Purdue Pharma changed the formula to make them harder to abuse, which gave him huge profits, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane. Beron arranged to sell the informant 400 80-mg pills for $6,000 in February, documents allege. The sale was monitored by the DEA.

Beron said he sometimes traveled to Las Vegas to visit his girlfriend and stay in luxury hotels, according to the DEA.

Hargan entered the investigation in September when Chelan County sheriff's deputies responded to a domestic violence report involving a man who said his wife had started seeing Hargan again. The man told deputies Hargan was a large-scale pill dealer who bought the drugs from a man named Robert in California, and that a woman named Mary picked up the pills from the post office.

Another DEA informant bought OxyContin from McGahuey and his girlfriend, Chavez, who also live in Wenatchee.

Beron was arrested at his home in Salinas, Calif., on Jan. 12.  Poilice found a 9 mm handgun and 530 methadone pills.

Later that day, investigators in Wenatchee watched Hernandez pick up a a package form Beron at the post office, then travel to Hargan's home, which police then searched. McGahuey and Chavez also were arrested Jan. 12 after a search warrant was served at their home.

The suspects face federal drug charges.




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