PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Federal authorities seized 370 gallons of liquid heroin and arrested four on drug trafficking charges after the suspects were apprehended at a hotel in Tigard last month, officials said.
All four individuals, who are believed to have ties to a Mexico-based transnational criminal organization, were handed down federal charges Thursday that include conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and possess with intent to distribute heroin, the Department of Justice said.
The individuals who were charged include three people from Yakima, Washington: 44-year-old Marco Antonio Magallon, 26-year-old Luis Deleon Woodward and 25-year-old Jorge Luis Amador. A fourth person, whose place of residence is unknown, was also charged: 32-year-old Santos Alisael Aguilar Maya.
This all unfolded as part of an ongoing, multi-agency drug trafficking investigation after law enforcement officials obtained information about large quantities of drugs being transported into Oregon. On the evening of Jan. 24 and into the early hours of Jan. 25, investigators tracked a moving truck driven by Amador followed by a red pickup truck. The vehicles were spotted near Bonneville, headed west, made a stop at a commercial parking lot in Beaverton, and finally parked together at a motel in Tigard, according to authorities.
It was at the motel that law enforcement officials descended upon the room and two vehicles based on a federal search warrant. There they located eight 55-gallon barrels weighing about 1.4 metric tons inside the truck. Lab tests at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office narcotics room later confirmed the barrels were filled with approximately 370 gallons of liquid heroin.
The four suspects were arrested without any issues and law enforcement also seized two loaded handguns from inside the hotel room.