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Police bust possible drug ring in Wood Village

by: Contributed photo Enrique Castaneda Jr.

Police arrested two men Tuesday afternoon during a raid on a drug-trafficking organization that allegedly operated out of Wood Village and supplied methamphetamine throughout the region.

The arrests concluded a two-month investigation into the organization that allegedly supplied commercial amounts of methamphetamine to street-level dealers in Gresham, Troutdale, Wood Village, Southwest Portland and southwest Washington, said sheriff's Deputy Josh Zwick.

The organization had been operating for several years, judging by its network and the amount of methamphetamine sales, Zwick said.

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Unit and Gresham Special Enforcement Team served a search warrant at 1724 N.E. 230th Court in Wood Village, where they seized 5 ounces of methamphetamine - valued at an estimated $14,000 - packaged for sale in the house and in a vehicle. Police also seized drug scales, packaging material and drug records.

Police arrested 25-year-old Enrique Castaneda Jr., who lives in the home and owns the vehicle, on charges of possession and distribution of methamphetamine.

Before the raid, police watched as Castaneda allegedly conducted a transaction with 38-year-old Juan De Leon of Gresham. After Castaneda's arrest, police stopped De Leon in his car in Southwest Portland.

Before pulling over, De Leon allegedly tossed a large bag out of the window into the bushes. De Leon was uncooperative and was physically removed from the vehicle, Zwick said.

Police searched the vehicle and found a commercial amount of methamphetamine, $1,700 in cash, packaging material and a scale.

With the aid of a drug-sniffing dog, Ellie, police were able to find the bag by the side of the road, Zwick said. The bag contained 5 ounces of heroin, valued at $12,000.

De Leon was arrested on charges of possession and distribution of heroin and possession and distribution of methamphetamine.

Castaneda and De Leon were lodged at the Multnomah County Detention Center.