Five arrested in heroin death investigation
Death of man in Troutdale spurs investigation
Police arrested five members of a drug-trafficking organization in connection with the September heroin overdose of a 23-year-old Mount Angel man in a parking lot in Troutdale.
The arrests occurred in Gresham and Troutdale between Nov. 29 and Dec. 16. Charges include possession and distribution of heroin and distribution of heroin within 1,000 feet of a school. Other possible charges are pending.
Troutdale police were dispatched Saturday, Sept. 17, to a Burger King parking lot on Southeast Stark Street near McGinnis Avenue to check on a suspicious vehicle that had not moved since the prior day, with someone behind the steering wheel.
Police found Brian Derry Michael in the driver's seat. Drug paraphernalia was found in the vehicle. It was later confirmed he had died from a heroin overdose.
Troutdale detectives and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office special investigations unit tracked the source of heroin. They started with the runner who supplied the drugs and ended with the head of the organization, believed to be Leopoldo Montiel-Cervantes, said Sgt. Steven Bevens, Troutdale police spokesman.
Over three weeks, police arrested Montiel-Cervantes, 28; Humberto Sanchez-Luna, 27; Cesar Becerra, 39; Christian Mercado, 20; and Manuel Salmeron-Robledo, 20. All were lodged at the Multnomah County Jail.
Montiel-Cervantes and Sanchez-Luna are being held on Immigrations and Customs Enforcement holds. Salmeron-Robledo was released from jail on his own recognizance.
The organization is responsible for the distribution of heroin throughout Multnomah County, Bevens said. An undisclosed amount of heroin and U.S. currency was seized during the investigation.
Prosecutors are increasingly trying to indict drug dealers under the Len Bias law, which created tougher penalties for distributing drugs that cause a death.