FBI arrests 22 allegedly tied to Mexican drug cartel
Law enforcement conducted a multi-agency operation that led to the arrest of 17 men spread across the region who had ties to a criminal organization and were responsible for trafficking large quantities of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine in Oregon and Washington.
The arrests Wednesday morning, Oct. 24, bring the total number of people related to the crime organization arrested to 22, including several from Gresham.
According to unsealed indictments, a drug cartel based in Michoacan, Mexico, distributed methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine to Victor Alvarez Farfan, 43, of Oregon City. Farfan and his associates manufactured crystal methamphetamine from liquid form and distributed it to other members of the conspiracy for sale in Gresham, Hillsboro, Portland, Hood River and Tacoma.
"Stopping these transnational organizations requires steadfast and responsive law enforcement partnerships at all levels of government," said Billy J. Williams, U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon. "Today, thanks to the vigilance and sustained cooperation of law enforcement agencies across Oregon, this cartel's efforts to maintain their foothold in our communities has been dealt a lasting blow."
The arrests were made thanks to an effort by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Westside Interagency Narcotics Task Force and the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force.
"Meth, heroin and cocaine combine to form a deadly cocktail that fuels a cycle of violence and addiction in our community," said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. "The FBI and our partners are targeting the power players in these drug trafficking organizations as we work to reduce the flow of guns, drugs and dirty money into Oregon."
The nine-count indictment alleges members of the organization conspired to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine; use a communication facility, including cellular telephones, in the commission of a controlled substances felony; and maintain drug-involved premises to manufacture and distribute controlled substances. Other charges include the interstate distribution of drug proceeds and money laundering.
Two of the arrested members of the group were from Gresham. Silverio Rubio Valdovinos, 35, is facing accusations of conspiracy, and Eduardo Alvarez Farfan, 24, is facing accusations of conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and conspiracy to commit the laundering of monetary instruments.