September 21, 2013 in Region

Five arrested in alleged Hazel Dell meth ring

Police say repair shops were trafficking fronts
Patty Hastings Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.)

Police arrested five men as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged drug trafficking organization based out of auto repair businesses in Hazel Dell.

Daladier Torres Ambriz, 33, is suspected of bringing large amounts of methamphetamine from Mexico to Clark County, where it was distributed by people through the shops.

“Although these businesses appeared to be legitimate, they were in fact simply fronts for a large drug trafficking organization,” said Cmdr. Mike Cooke, who heads the Clark-Vancouver Regional Drug Task Force.

The first search warrants were served 6 a.m. Thursday at the homes of several suspects. In the Orchards area, police arrested Ambriz and Felix Eduardo Ambriz Rodriguez, 26. Detectives also seized several pieces of evidence, including $30,000 and documents referring to cash transfers to Mexico as well as four cars that were allegedly used to deliver controlled substances.

In Vancouver’s Rose Village neighborhood, Jose B. Toscano, 20, and Jose Gabriel Aguilar, 21, were taken into custody. Cellphones, additional documents referring to cash transfers to Mexico, a handgun and a car allegedly used to deliver drugs were seized during the raid.

Beningo Blasquez Moreno, 18, was taken into custody in Vancouver’s Bagley Downs neighborhood. Police seized about 2 1/2 pounds of methamphetamine, notes documenting drug transactions, a drug scale, cellphones and a laptop computer. Detectives suspect one apartment was being used to convert methamphetamine from a liquid form to a crystal form.

Search warrants were also served at the businesses in Hazel Dell.

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