DEA & LINE Task Force Seize Over 76 Pounds of Methamphetamine and Arrest Three Marion County Residents

News Release from DEA Seattle
Posted on FlashAlert: October 6th, 2017 10:25 AM

Eugene, Ore. -- Investigators with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Linn County Inter-Agency Narcotics Enforcement (LINE) Task Force have arrested and charged three Hubbard, Oregon, residents for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Rafael Ceballos-Castillo, 49 years old, was arrested on October 2, 2017, and appeared in federal court later that day. His son, Rafael Ceballos Jr., 20 years old, was charged by criminal complaint and is currently in custody on an unrelated state warrant and will appear in federal court when the matter is resolved. Ceballos-Castillo's brother, Jose Ceballos-Castillo, 28 years old, was arrested on October 5, 2017, and appeared on the criminal complaint before Magistrate Thomas M. Coffin. All three men are currently in custody, pending detention hearings.

"Working with our partners led to a significant seizure of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine being peddled by this organization within our state," said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Cam Strahm. "It is the most recent example of our collective efforts to keep Oregonians safe from the insidious nature of drug trafficking and those organizations willing to prey on those battling addiction."

According to the criminal complaints, law enforcement began investigating Rafael Ceballos-Castillo and Jose Ceballos Jr. in July 2017, after identifying Ceballos-Castillo as a methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine source of supply.

On October 2, 2017, Ceballos-Castillo was arrested in Springfield, Oregon, and was found to be in possession of over $50,000 in cash. Later that day, a search warrant was executed at his residence in Hubbard, Oregon, and law enforcement seized approximately 57 pounds of methamphetamine, one kilogram of cocaine, and .45 caliber semi-automatic hand gun. A second residence in Salem, Oregon, was also searched and law enforcement seized over 13 pounds of methamphetamine, over one pound of heroin, and a loaded Smith and Wesson .357 caliber revolver and ammunition. To date, agents and officers have seized a combined total of over 76 pounds of methamphetamine, 2.5 pounds of cocaine, one-pound of heroin, two handguns, drug paraphernalia and a money counter.

"These arrests and seizures are the result of a significant joint investigation by local and federal law enforcement to combat the destruction wrought by methamphetamine abuse in the Linn County community," said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. "We greatly appreciate the level of cooperation and law enforcement partnerships."

The investigation was led by DEA and the LINE Task Force, with substantial assistance from the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force (CCITF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Salem Police Department Street Crimes Unit, the Springfield Police Department, and the Hubbard Police Department. The LINE Task Force, which consists of investigators from the Albany, Lebanon, and Sweet Home police departments, the Linn County Sheriff's Office, the Oregon State Police, the Oregon National Guard Counter Drug Task Force and the DEA, was created after the county was designated a High Density Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) in January 2016.

Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Huynh is prosecuting this case. A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and all defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.