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Police seize pills from vehicle of Gladstone residents Johnny and Martha Stavrakis

A married couple from Gladstone was arrested Wednesday, June 1, after allegedly trafficking fentanyl pills from Clackamas County to Central Oregon, per the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE).

Johnny Stavrakis, 39, and his wife Martha Stavrakis, 42, both face criminal charges after CODE detectives found and seized a "commercial quantity" of counterfeit pharmaceutical pills containing fentanyl as well as other evidence of drug sales during a traffic stop, authorities say.

Johnny repotedly faces charges for unlawful possession, manufacture, and attempted distribution of a schedule II controlled substance, as well as giving false information to a police officer. He additionally faces a parole violation arrest warrant and a Clackamas County arrest warrant for unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Martha faces charges for unlawful possession, manufacture, and attempted distribution of a schedule II controlled substance as well as hindering prosecution.PHOTO COURTESY DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION - It's difficult to distinguish the authentic, pharmacy-grade oxycodone pill (left) from the counterfeit fentanyl pill (right).

After CODE investigators observed activity "consistent with drug distribution" during a surveillance operation in Redmond, they stopped the husband and wife's 2022 Honda Civic near mile post 124 on Highway 97, and controlled substances were immediately detected inside the vehicle by a police K9, per reports.

The couple allegedly provided false names and grew uncooperative with detectives, who identified two outstanding arrest warrants for Johnny when they identified him, according to CODE authorities' account.

Detectives then report searching the vehicle and locating the stash of pills made with fentanyl, a highly powerful synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and can make a person stop breathing within minutes.

Johnny was booked into the Deschutes County Sheriff's Jail, and Martha was issued a citation, authorities say.

In April, Clackamas County officials reported an 18% rise in opioid overdose hospitalizations in the county from 2020 to 2021, during which time the area saw synthetic opioid hospitalizations increase by more than double.

Among all 50 states, Oregon now sees the highest rate of prescription opioid misuse and remains last in terms of access to treatment, as 18% of the Oregonians needing treatment remain underserved, officials reported in a health advisory.

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