Grants Pass, Ore. — In a joint operation, the DEA Seattle Field Division, Grants Pass Police Department, and Oregon State Police announced the successful takedown of a drug and firearm trafficking ring in Southern Oregon. The investigation, initiated 18 months ago, culminated in the execution of 9 search warrants in and around Grants Pass, resulting in 24 arrests.
During the operation, law enforcement seized 37 firearms and significant quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine. Prior to the enforcement action, the team had already confiscated 40 pounds of methamphetamine and over nine pounds of fentanyl. It is emphasized that even small amounts of fentanyl, as little as two milligrams, can be fatal, and the seized fentanyl had the potential to yield more than 144,000 deadly doses.
This year alone, the DEA in Oregon has seized over 3.84 million deadly doses of fentanyl, doubling the amount seized in the entirety of the previous year. The collaborative efforts between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including DEA offices in Medford, Bend, Eugene, Salem, and Portland, along with various law enforcement partners in Southern and Central Oregon, contributed to the success of the operation.
David F. Reames, Special Agent in Charge of DEA Seattle Field Division, emphasized the significance of the cooperative effort in making Southern Oregon communities safer. The takedown involved agencies such as Grants Pass Police, Oregon State Police, Central Point Police Department, Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE), Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE), Douglas County Interagency Narcotics Team (DINT), Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (BINET), and the Interagency Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET).
The case is set to be prosecuted by the Josephine County District Attorney. The DEA highlighted the alarming statistics related to drug poisonings, noting that 70 percent of the 110,757 drug poisoning-related deaths in the U.S. last year involved fentanyl, and 30 percent involved methamphetamine, according to the CDC. DEA laboratory testing indicated that seven out of every 10 pills seized by DEA contain a lethal dose of fentanyl.