Several Hillsboro residents tied to Mexican drug cartel bust
Several Hillsboro residents were arrested last month in an alleged drug-trafficking conspiracy with ties to a Mexican drug cartel.
The Oregon Department of Justice, Washington County Sheriff's Office, FBI and several other law enforcement agencies across the Portland area arrested 22 people on Oct. 24 in a sweeping drug bust, including seven Hillsboro residents.
The 22 arrested are allegedly responsible for trafficking large quantities of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine across the state, Authorities said the drugs were originally sent from a cartel in Michoacán, a state in central Mexico.
"While our country suffers from the effects of pervasive substance abuse, Mexican drug trafficking cartels continue bringing deadly narcotics into our communities," said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. "Stopping these transnational organizations requires steadfast and responsive law enforcement partnerships at all levels of government."
The drugs were allegedly sent from Mexico to Victor Alvarez Farfan, 43, of Oregon City, who also manufactured liquid crystal meth, the Justice department said. The heroin and cocaine were then allegedly sent to Hillsboro and other cities including Gresham, Portland and Hood River, as well as Tacoma, Wash., where they would be sold.
In Hillsboro, the meth was allegedly delivered to John Armas, 41, according to investigators. Armas is believed to have distributed the drugs he received across the Hillsboro area.
Armas is charged with conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit the laundering of money instruments. Farfan faces charges of conspiracy, two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit the laundering of monetary instruments.
The drug bust was led by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Westside Interagency Narcotics task force — which is made up of several law enforcement agencies, including Hillsboro Police and the Washington County Sheriff's Office — and the Clackamas County Interagency task force.
"We are unrelenting in our work to stop illegal drug traffickers," said Pat Garrett, Washington County Sheriff. "The teamwork displayed — local, federal and across state lines — makes me thankful for the strong partnerships we have in public safety."
In addition to Farfan and Armas, six other Hillsboro residents were arrested in the drug bust. Randy Eugene Roberts, 51, and Kathleen Joan Roberts, 53, face conspiracy charges, as does Socorro Elena Gutierrez, 38, and Athena Marie Johnson, 48. Taylor Michael McKemie, 55, is charged with conspiracy and conspiracy to commit the laundering of monetary instruments. Keith Frederick Teufel, 59, also of Hillsboro, is charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Other alleged co-conspirators arrested include Silverio Rubio Valdovinos, 35, of Gresham; Eduardo Alvarez Farfan, 24, of Gresham; Roberto Carlos Farfan Alvarez, 23, of Oregon City; Genaro Fernandez Gonzalez, 26, of Salem; Catherine Arlene Cunningham, 51, of Hood River; Kirstie Alexandria Mirelez, 27, of Portland; Jessica Marie Stinnett, 39, of Astoria; Randall Deal Mauel, 47, of Chehalis, Wash., and Rene Diaz Gutierrez, 36, of Vancouver, Wash.
Five other people charged in the bust have not been publicly identified.
"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."
Williams said authorities had dealt "a lasting blow" to the cartel's operations in Oregon through the drug bust.
"We will continue pursuing criminal drug traffickers and ensure their actions are met with severe consequences," he said.