Four charged with hauling over ton of Mexican drug cartel heroin in Oregon

Federal prosecutors in Oregon said four affiliates of a Mexican crime syndicate were charged Thursday with trafficking over one metric ton of liquid heroin in a moving truck.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon said the four suspects were charged with conspiracy and distribution charges related to the 1.4 metric tons of the narcotic in the back of a U-Haul.

Prosecutors said the suspects — Jorge Luis Amador, 25; Luis Deleon Woodward, 26; and Marco Antonio Magallon, 44, all of Yakima, as well as Santos Alisael Aguilar Maya, 32, of no known address — were arrested on Jan. 24 as part of an ongoing multi-agency drug trafficking investigation.

The attorney’s office said that “law enforcement obtained information that several individuals working for a transnational criminal organization were transporting a large load of illegal narcotics into the District of Oregon.”

Authorities said they spotted the moving truck and a pickup truck driving west on Interstate 84 near Bonneville, Oregon, during the overnight hours spanning late Jan. 24 and early Jan. 25.  

Both vehicles eventually parked at a motel in Tigard, Oregon, which is where prosecutors said investigators obtained and executed a search warrant on the moving truck and the pickup truck.

“They located and seized eight 55-gallon barrels containing approximately 370 gallons of a liquid narcotic inside the moving truck and two loaded handguns inside the motel room,” the attorney’s office said. “All four defendants were arrested without incident.” 

Lab tests confirmed the liquid to be heroin, authorities said. 

Prosecutors didn’t elaborate on what criminal organization the men belonged to.

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