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Citizen complaint leads to drug arrests in Gresham

Officials arrest seven and seize more than pound of heroin
by: Contributed photos Lloyd Milton Virnig and Jamie Lynn Bettis

Citizen concerns about suspected drug activity taking place near a local shopping center have resulted in seven arrests and police seizing more than a pound of heroin, plus $14,000 in suspected drug proceeds.

At about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, members of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Unit and the East County Transit Police served search warrants at two apartments: one in the Columbia Trails Apartments in the 1100 block of Northwest 15th Street just west of the Gresham Station Shopping Center, and another at the Jamestown Apartments in the 1200 block of East Powell Boulevard, said Sgt. Claudio Grandjean, Gresham police spokesman.

The drug activity centered on the two apartments, but spilled over to the shopping center, as well as the area surrounding Powell Boulevard and Cleveland Avenue, Grandjean said.

Undercover agents conducted a three-week investigation in which they reportedly bought drugs from Jamie Lynn Bettis, 25, and Lloyd Milton Virnig, 25, in the above mentioned locations.

On Thursday, Dec. 15, police arrested Bettis and Virnig on allegations of heroin delivery. Bettis also was arrested on allegations of delivering heroin near a school.

They also arrested three more people that day, including one at the Cleveland MAX Station in Gresham. A sixth person was arrested on Friday, Dec. 16, and yet another was arrested more than a week earlier Tuesday, Dec. 6:

Those suspects include:

• Denise Louise Ceasar, 44, on allegations of heroin possession and delivery and cocaine possession

• Richard Padilla, 67, on allegations of heroin possession, delivery and manufacturing, and violating his parole or probation on an unspecified offense

• Richard Patrick Wood, 29, on an allegation of heroin possession

• Reymundo Quechulpatlaxcala, 35, on allegations of heroin possession, delivery and manufacturing, in addition to a no-bail United States Immigration hold

• Jorge Octavio Perez-Perez, 36, on allegations of heroin and cocaine possession, and heroin delivery and manufacturing

Bettis, Virnig and Ceasar have been released. The others are still being held either at the Multnomah County Detention Center or the Multnomah County Inverness Jail.

Anyone with information about the case, or any concerns about suspicious activity, is encouraged to call 503-661-3784.