Narcotics agents on Tuesday seized about 150,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills made with fentanyl and about 20 pounds of fentanyl powder in a sting operation in the parking lot outside the Oregon City Home Depot.
Federal authorities believe is the largest single fentanyl seizure in Oregon history. The street value of the drugs is estimated at $4 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office-District of Oregon.
The operation, led by Homeland Security Investigations and the Clackamas County Inter-agency Task Force with assistance from the FBI, came after federal agents learned that Ufrano Orozco Munoz, 27, was knowingly and intentionally conspiring with others to traffic large quantities of fentanyl manufactured in Mexico and elsewhere to Oregon for distribution and sale in the Portland area.
Three of Orozco’s associates were also arrested during this week’s operation: Abraham Vera Enriquez, 29, Jesus Miguel Zamora Cruz, 36, and Jose Javier Valdez Paramo, 32.
They were charged with conspiring with one another to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl. They made their first appearances in federal court Thursday and were ordered detained pending further court proceedings.
The four men currently remain in the custody of the Multnomah County Detention Center.
Officers seized the drugs Tuesday night during an arranged drug buy between the men and a federal informant in the Oregon City parking lot, according to a Homeland Security Investigations agent.
Homeland Security began investigating Orozco in February 2022 for his role in trafficking large quantities of fentanyl from Mexico to the U.S. for distribution in several western states including Arizona and Oregon.
He was arrested earlier this year in Arizona after he was found with 50,000 counterfeit pills made with fentanyl. He posted bail and was released from jail in Arizona and then fled to Mexico, according to federal prosecutors.
Valdez Paramo also has prior drug charges in a pending methamphetamine case out of Las Vegas.
Counterfeit pills are designed to resemble real 30 mg oxycodone pills, which are round, blue and stamped with an “M” and “30,” according to The Oregonian.
Drug dealers regularly sell counterfeit oxycodone pills, manufacturing them with fentanyl and attempting to replicate the real pills’ round shape, blue color and distinctive stamps.
Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott M. Kerin is prosecuting the case.
The task force, led by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, works to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations operating in Clackamas County, and reduce illegal drugs and related crimes throughout the community.
The task force is comprised of members of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Canby Police Department, Oregon State Police, Homeland Security and FBI.
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