Oregon trafficking bust yields $165K, guns, drugs

(NewsNation) — A bust in Medford, Oregon, netted more than $165,000 in cash, 86 guns and drugs including cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and marijuana.

The bust was the result of a two-year investigation by police. The Medford Police Department said the drugs were sourced from Mexican cartels and brought into the U.S. through ports in California and Texas.

Police arrested four men believed to be the main suspects in the case, although an additional 20 individuals were contacted or arrested in connection with drug trafficking.

The alleged leader of the pack is 34-year-old Jerret Hooey, who was arrested in 2020 on charges of distributing large amounts of cocaine. Authorities began tracking his phone at the end of last year as part of the investigation into him and his associates.

The other three men arrested are:

  • 27-year-old Lucas Palomarez
  • 35-year-old Jesus Ledesma
  • 38-year-old Nicolas Carrillo-Ortiz

Medford police said the drugs were shipped from Tijuana and Juarez, Mexico.

The total items seized were:

  • Over 1.5 pounds of cocaine
  • Over a quarter-pound of methamphetamine
  • Over a quarter-pound of fentanyl
  • More than 90 pounds of marijuana/marijuana extract

The drug bust is the latest example of what experts suggest is Mexican cartels exhibiting an outsize influence in America. Fentanyl overdoses are on the rise among military members, and a former high-ranking DEA official says he has “no doubt” the cartels are using the military as both a distribution market and recruitment pool.


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