Prineville woman arrested for smuggling fentanyl

A Prineville woman faces charges of trafficking controlled substances as the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team continues to search for sources of fentanyl that have flooded the area. On March 13, at approximately 7:00 p.m., the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team concluded a long-term investigation with the arrest of the 26-year-old man.

During a concurrent investigation, drug officers identified the suspect as a fentanyl trafficker in central Oregon. The initial investigation alleges that it imported large quantities of fentanyl pills from the Portland area, where it primarily distributes them in the Prineville area.

After a multi-day surveillance operation throughout the Portland metro area, CODE detectives, with the assistance of Oregon State Police troopers, arrested the suspect on Highway 26 between Madras and Prineville. She was detained at the scene. A male passenger was later released without charge. A toddler was also in the vehicle at the time of the arrest and was turned over to Oregon DHS-Child Welfare.

Based on the investigation, CODE detectives requested and obtained a search warrant for his home and vehicle, where officers located a commercial quantity of counterfeit fentanyl-based Oxycodone tablets. These counterfeit pills have been linked to an ongoing overdose epidemic in central Oregon and contain fentanyl or methamphetamine and can be fatal to an unsuspecting user. In addition to the fentanyl, the drug officers seized a large amount of currency. The charges include unlawful possession, manufacture and attempted distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance (fentanyl) and child neglect I.

“My office supports a surge of public safety to address the alarming increase in the availability of these fake fentanyl-containing pills,” Crook County District Attorney Kari Hathorn said. “It is the goal of the Crook County District Attorney’s Office to work with our law enforcement partners and the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team to protect the safety and health of our Crook County community from the damage, crime and overdoses caused by these criminal drug networks.

Criminal complaints only contain accusations; the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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