PORTLAND, Ore. — A Honduran citizen faces federal charges for his alleged part in a drug trafficking ring responsible for bringing large amounts of narcotics from Mexico into Oregon and Washington, according to the U.S. Attorney's office for the District of Oregon.
According to court documents, federal law enforcement agencies were working with the Tigard Police Department on an investigation into the suspected drug trafficking ring. As part of the investigation, investigators were watching a motel in Portland on Jan. 23.
The investigators spotted two men, one later identified as 47-year-old Jose Isidro Zuniga Torres, coming out of a room with multiple boxes. The two men loaded the boxes and several more bags into a car, then drove to another motel, the U.S Attorney's office said.
Investigators followed the men to the second motel, where they were seen unloading boxes and bags into a new room. Officers served a federal search warrant on the room the following day.
Zuniga was taken into custody inside the room, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Packed into the room, investigators allegedly found and seized more than 2 kilograms of rainbow-colored fentanyl packaged for distribution, 417 grams of "M30" counterfeit oxycodone pills — also containing fentanyl — 393 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 49 grams of cocaine and eight guns.
The U.S. Attorney's office said that Zuniga admitted to possessing "most of the drugs" found in the motel room. He also said that the guns were meant to be shipped to Honduras wrapped in tinfoil and clothing so that they'd avoid detection.
Zuniga was charged with conspiracy to possess and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl. He made his first appearance in federal court on Wednesday, and a judge ordered that he be detained pending his next court appearance.
In addition to Tigard police, the drug trafficking investigation that netted Zuniga involves the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations. The investigation has been probing alleged drug trafficking from Mexico for distribution and sale in Oregon and Washington, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
Thus far, the investigation has resulted in arrests or charges for eight people. To date, investigators have seized more than 5 kilograms of powdered fentanyl, 4.5 kilograms of heroin, 3 kilograms each of cocaine and crystal meth, 45,000 of the M30 fentanyl pills and 12 guns.