Prineville man, Redmond woman arrested for fentanyl trafficking, other drug charges
A Prineville man and Redmond woman were arrested on fentanyl trafficking charges Wednesday, following a traffic stop on Madras Highway just outside of town.
Around 11:15 a.m., Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE) officials stopped 26-year-old Prineville man Israel Sanchez-Villagomez and 22-year-old Redmond woman Katlyn A McCue on Highway 26 near Northwest Ryegrass Road while she was driving an Audi A4.
The traffic stop followed a long-term CODE investigation during which drug agents identified Sanchez-Villagomez as a fentanyl trafficker in the Crook County area. The investigation alleged Sanchez-Villagomez imported fentanyl pills from the Southeast Portland/Gresham area into Central Oregon where he distributed them throughout the community.
The stop was conducted after an overnight multi-county surveillance operation and CODE detectives obtaining a search warrant. Detectives had received information that Israel Sanchez-Villagomez may be armed with a firearm.
CODE detectives and Crook County Sheriff's Office deputies gathered and seized a commercial quantity of fake pharmaceutical tablets made of fentanyl along with powder fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and other evidence of commercial drug sales. In addition to the drugs, Sanchez-Villagomez, a previously convicted felon, was in possession of a loaded Smith & Wesson revolver.
According to CODE officials, "a commercial quantity" is defined by statute as five grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl or any substituted derivative of fentanyl as defined by the rules of the Oregon Board of Pharmacy. They clarified that it is not a separate criminal charge, rather an increase in the sentencing guidelines.
CODE officials went on to note that the greater Portland area is a major transshipment hub where illegal drugs coming from the southwest border are stored in local warehouses, storage units and residential properties. The bulk shipments of drugs are usually broken down into smaller quantities and transported to other states or distributed to local dealers. They added that the Portland area has an international airport, interstate highways, and bus and train lines that make it easy for shipments to be
Sanchez-Villagomez and McCue were both lodged in the Crook County Sheriff's Jail. They both face charges of unlawful possession and attempted distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (Fentanyl), and unlawful possession and attempted distribution of cocaine and heroin, both of which are felonies. In addition, Sanchez-Villagomez has been charged with felon in possession of a firearm and had an arrest warrant for parole abscond.
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