BENT Busts Major Drug Operation

June 2, 2017 3:37 pm

Photo via blue mountain enforcement narcotics team

Photo via blue mountain enforcement narcotics team

MILTON-FREEWATER, Oregon – The Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team rolled up a major narcotics operation in northern Umatilla County. Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts says the service of two search warrants Wednesday was the result of more than a year-long investigation.

Adan Nieves Torres, 43, was arrested at his home at 504 Elzora Loop. Carlos Cisneros Razo was taken into custody at his residence at 1501 N. Elizabeth Street, Space ‘F.’

It all started with a traffic stop and a consent search of a Chevrolet truck registered to Torres Family Landscaping of Lakewood, Washington.

BENT detectives chose to stop the truck even though they had search warrants in hand for two residences. Roberts says that’s because law enforcement is pulling away from dynamic entry busts, and seeking tactics to defuse what could end up being potential hostage situations.

“The sheer quantities that Mr. Torres had in his possession are huge – especially the heroin,” Roberts said.

BENT detectives uncovered substantial quantities of drugs there, including 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine, 4.3 pounds of heroin, and 5.6 pounds of cocaine. They also seized more than $26,000 in cash and two firearms. BENT found that one of those guns was stolen out of the Walla Walla area. In addition, body armor, scales and packaging materials were seized.

The search warrant for Razo’s residence turned up more than 16 grams of methamphetamine, scales, and packaging material. Also, at the time of his arrest, the suspect was allegedly carrying a loaded .32-caliber handgun concealed on his person.

Roberts says the narcotics and possible firearms charges are being referred to the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution.

FedAgent — D.C. Circuit finds that a warrant to place a recording device outside of authorizing judge's jurisdiction invalid

Lonell Glover was suspected of being involved in the distribution of PCP and heroin. The FBI tapped Mr. Glover’s cellular phone, but Mr. Glover was careful only to speak in code. However, Mr. Glover was known to have meetings with suspected associates in his truck, and so the FBI obtained a warrant from Judge Rosemary Collyer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

As the government noted, Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (“Title III”), which establishes the general rules for federal wire taps, at 18 U.S.C. § 2518(3) permits a judge to “authoriz[e] or approv[e] interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications within the territorial jurisdiction of the court in which the judge is sitting (and outside that jurisdiction but within the United States in the case of a mobile interception device authorized by a Federal court within such jurisdiction).”

The court of appeals disagreed with the government’s argument that this allowed for a federal judge to authorize the placement of a tap anywhere in the United States, explaining that: “[t]o be sure, the parenthetical phrase is somewhat ambiguous. It seems reasonable to read the words ‘such jurisdiction’ in the phrase as referring back to the jurisdiction in which the judge is sitting; i.e., in this case, the District of Columbia, since the provision mentions no other jurisdiction. It is also possible that the phrase, by implication, refers to the jurisdiction in which the mobile interception device is installed. Under either reading, the parenthetical makes clear that a judge cannot authorize the interception of communications if the mobile interception device was not validly authorized, and a device cannot be validly authorized if, at the time the warrant is issued, the property on which the device is to be installed is not located in the authorizing judge’s jurisdiction. A contrary reading would render the phrase ‘authorized by a Federal court within such jurisdiction’ completely superfluous.”

Read more at FedAgent.