In the largest drug bust in recent Mid-Valley history, police arrested 10 people and seized 10 pounds of heroin, 14 pounds of methamphetamine, 2 pounds of cocaine, 15 guns, seven vehicles and $467,000.
Tuesday night, officers with the Salem Police Department served seven search warrants and arrested seven people. The next day, officers with the Stayton Police Department served three search warrants, including at Santiam Cleanery, and arrested three people.
"The arrests in Salem definitely triggered the ones in Stayton," said Lt. Steve Birr, of the Salem police.
It's the largest drug bust he's been a part of in his three-decade career, he said. Salem police have confiscated larger quantities of drugs — last year they seized 55 pounds of cocaine from a semitrailer — but they haven't had a drug investigation produce results of this magnitude recently, he said. Birr said that when he was a detective in the Street Crimes Unit in the '90s they were lucky to find a few grams.
The two-month Salem investigation led to the arrest of people throughout the supply chain, including some "pretty close to the top," Birr said.
Police arrested the following Salem and Keizer residents on a variety of drug charges, including delivery, possession and conspiracy to deliver: Victor Palafox-Garcia, 23; Vanessa Gonzalez, 22; Guillermo Palafox-Santos, 42; Elsa Garcia-Barrera, 47; Christopher McNaught, 37; and Crystal Bingham, 36. Beaverton resident David Bacon, 52, was also arrested.
They have all been arraigned. Gonzalez was also arraigned on a first-degree child neglect charge.
The Salem operation began around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when officers stopped three vehicles simultaneously in the vicinity of Lancaster Drive and Beverly Avenue NE. Search warrants were then served in the 3700 block of Beverly, the 400 block of Fountain Valley Way NE, the 900 block of Shores Street NE, the 5100 block of Wittenberg Lane NE, the 1500 block of Hawthorne Avenue NE and the 2500 block of Ptarmigan Street NW.
The Western Interagency Narcotics Team, a task force made up of national and local law enforcement agencies, served a search warrant in the 9600 block of SW 160th Avenue in Beaverton. Portland police officers served a warrant in the 8200 block of NE Hancock Street, according to a news release.
The next morning, officers with the Stayton Police Department executed three search warrants: in the 1400 block of Kristan Court, at 215 N. 1st Ave., and on a vehicle.
Stayton resident Ignatius "Iggy" Johnson, 34, was arraigned on charges of delivery, possession of heroin and third-degree theft. Salem resident Kelly Johnson, 30, was arrested for conspiracy to deliver heroin and possession of heroin. Stayton resident Simon Silbernagel, 27, was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
A Santiam Cleanery van, containing 48 grams of black tar heroin and $1,000 in cash, was seized as a result, according to a news release. Numerous other pieces of property were seized, including more than 15 guns.
During the bust, Stayton High School was locked down Wednesday morning.
All-in-all, the busts were a combined effort of the Salem Police Department's Street Crimes Unit, Stayton Police Department, Marion County District Attorney's Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, WIN Team, Portland Police Bureau, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Albany Police Department's Street Crimes Unit.
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STAYTON, Ore. -- Three arrests have been made after search warrants were issued in Stayton Wednesday.
Stayton resident Ignatius "Iggy" Johnson, 34, was arrested on charges of delivery and possession of heroin. Salem resident Kelly Johnson, 30, was arrested for conspiracy to deliver heroin and possession of heroin. Stayton resident Simon Silbernagel, 27, was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Silbernagel pleaded guilty to third-degree theft and possession of heroin in April 2015. He was participating in Marion County's Drug Court until he was terminated from the program May 6, 2015. He missed three court appearances since then, court records show.
Silbernagel is scheduled to appear at the Marion County Circuit Court Annex, 4000 Aumsville Hwy SE, May 12 at 3 p.m.
As part of the investigation, detectives are processing numerous pieces of evidence. More than 15 handguns and rifles, drugs, cash and a Santiam Cleanery work van were seized. The van contained more than 48 grams of black tar heroin and more than $1,000 in cash, said Stayton Police Sgt. Danielle Wetzel.
Stayton High School was placed on lockdown Wednesday morning as a precautionary measure while police issued search warrants in the general area as part of an investigation into illegal drug activity.
Wetzel said three search warrants were executed: in the 1400 block of Kristan Court, 215 N. First Ave. and a vehicle.
Stayton Police worked in collaboration with the FBI the Drug Enforcement Administration, Oregon State Police, Salem Police and Albany Police Street Crimes Unit.