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Wednesday, October 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Pacific NW

Men arrested in Oregon with over $2.3M in drugs

Tribune News Service

BIGGS JUNCTION, Ore. – A man from Royal City, Washington, and a man from Moses Lake were arrested last week after millions of dollars’ worth of cocaine and methamphetamine was found in their vehicle during a traffic stop.

About 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 a trooper with the Oregon State Police reportedly stopped a 2008 Dodge Caravan with a Washington license plate heading north on state Route 97, south of Biggs Junction near The Dalles, for a traffic violation, according to the OSP. About a minute into the traffic stop, the trooper reportedly observed a handgun in the vehicle’s glove box after the passenger in the vehicle, identified as Jose Joel Helguera-Del Rio, 31, of Royal City, opened it. Neither Helguera-Del Rio nor the driver of the Caravan, Alberto Alejandro Martinez, 32, of Moses Lake, had a concealed weapons permit and they were detained.

Troopers reportedly found 25 pounds of cocaine and 44 pounds of meth in the vehicle. The drugs reportedly have estimated street values of over $2.3 million. Martinez and Helguera-Del Rio were arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Jail on multiple federal drug- and firearm-related charges.

The OSP’s patrol division was assisted by OSP detectives and the Portland Police Bureau, the Sherman County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The investigation into the crimes are ongoing with the assistance of the Homeland Security Investigations (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

“This is one of the more significant recent seizures of illegal drugs in transport by the Oregon State Police. The estimated street values of the drugs are over 2.3 million dollars,” states the OSP. “It is believed that seizures such as this have the capability to make an immediate impact in the safety of numerous communities throughout the Northwest.”

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