A Bothell, Washington, man is facing federal drug charges after he was allegedly caught transporting large quantities of fentanyl powder and methamphetamine on Interstate 5 just north of Market Street in Salem Thursday morning.
Edilio Abimael Giron-Rodas, 34, was stopped for a traffic violation at about 9:44 a.m., according to the Oregon State Police.
A trooper allegedly observed several signs of criminal activity and asked the driver if there were any drugs in the vehicle. The driver admitted there was a “small amount of cocaine” near the center console, according to police.
Giron-Rodas reportedly consented to a search of the vehicle, during which troopers located approximately 11.5 pounds of powdered fentanyl, four pounds of methamphetamine, 1,000 suspected fentanyl pills — and the small amount of cocaine he had previously admitted to.
“To put this into perspective, 11.5 pounds of powder fentanyl would provide roughly 3.5 million lethal doses of fentanyl to the Portland metro area — which has a population of approximately 1.8 million people,” Oregon State Police said in a press release. “The yellow, green, blue and pink powders can be used to make the substance more appealing to youth.”
Because of fentanyl’s potency and lethality, there are growing concerns about first responders and others who might be exposed to the substance during emergency calls. Police say it is more important than ever to take appropriate precautions when fentanyl might be present.
Giron-Rodas was interviewed by DEA agents and taken into federal custody pending federal charges. He made his first appearance in federal court Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman, where he was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.
This case was investigated by OSP and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. It is being prosecuted by Scott M. Kerin, assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon.
In related news, members of the Oregon City Police Department’s Special Investigations Team on Wednesday arrested a 63-year-old man for allegedly distributing fentanyl and methamphetamine.
The incident began when police served a search warrant at a residence located in the 600 block of Jackson Street in Oregon City shortly before 1 p.m. David Wiest, 63, was taken into custody and an unknown amount of suspected controlled substances was seized, including fentanyl pills and meth.
Wiest was lodged at the Clackamas County Jail on multiple charges including distribution of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance and second-degree trademark counterfeiting.
“Thank you to all the community members who have been working hard to bring attention to the ongoing fentanyl crisis,” Oregon City Police said in a Facebook post.
Any Oregon City residents aware of further drug activity are asked to contact police at OCPDSIT@orcity.org or call 503-905-3505. If you are struggling with substance use, contact Lines for Life by phone at 1-800-923-4357 or online at linesforlife.org/get-help-now.
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