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Police bust large drug, cockfighting ring

Investigators find more than 1,600 chickens near Farmington Road near Aloha.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - A Washington County Sheriff's K9 poses with methamphetamine and other items seized during the service of numerous search warrants, most of them on Thursday and Friday.The Washington County Westside Interagency Narcotics (WIN) Team led a year-long investigation of an alleged methamphetamine ring that culminated this week with the arrest of 30 people.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Investigators found more than 1,600 chickens believed to be used for cockfighting in a rural compound of buildings located near Aloha.During the searches, authorities also uncovered what they believe is a large cockfighting operation in a rural area near Aloha, said Sgt. Bob Ray, spokesman for the Washington County Sheriff's Office, a lead agency in the investigation.

On Thursday and Friday morning, the Sheriff's office and many other local, state and federal agencies served 14 search warrants after earlier serving another four warrants.

The investigators were targeting a meth ring believed to illegally transport methamphetamine from Mexico to Oregon.

The majority of the 18 total warrants were served in Washington County, where the drug ring was based, but seaches also were conducted in neighboring Clackamas, Multnomah and Yamhill counties in Oregon and in Clark County, Wash. The searches involved both residential and commercial properties.

During a Thursday search at a large compound of buildings off the 21400 block of Southwest Farmington Road, investigators found more than 1,600 chickens, most of which they believe were used for cockfighting, Ray said.

That site is just southwest of a more suburbanized Hazeldale area of Aloha and just downhill from Jenkins Estate.SUBMITTED PHOTO - This compound of buildings just southwest of Aloha is where investigators serving search warrants related to a large methemphetamine ring also found more than 1,600 chickens, many of which are believed to be used in illegal cockfighting.

Two other warrants were served in the Beaverton and Aloha area and six were served in Hillsboro, Cornelius and nearby rural areas.

During the searches, investigators seized more than 26 pounds of methamphetamine, 19 firearms (two confirmed stolen), cocaine and about $90,000 cash.

They also seized "a vast amount of stolen property" including firearms and a $3,000 bicycle.

Additional items including vehicles and money are pending seizure, Ray said.

Also during the operations, the state Department of Human Services was consulted several times concerning children in hazardous environments.

Besides the Sheriff's Office, local agencies participating in the investigation including fellow WIN members Beaverton, Hillsboro and Tigard police departments and 17 other agencies.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - This map shows the locations where a large number of agencies served search warrants related to an alleged methamphetamine ring that was funneling drugs from Mexico. Most of the warrants were served in Washington County but searches also were conducted in other counties.

By Eric Apalategui
Beaverton Reporter
email: eapalategui@commnewspapers.com
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