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Drug raids net meth, firearms

13 people arrested on July 20

On July 20, the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office, The Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, LEAD Drug Task Force, Metro Drug Task Force, Yakima Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Skamania County Sheriff's Office, and the MINT Drug Task Force executed several search warrants around the state of Washington.

The raids were part of a federal investigation named "Operation Crop-duster."

During this intense investigation and as a result of all of the search warrants and arrests that were made, six firearms, over $160,000 in cash, and approximately seven pounds of methamphetamine were recovered.

The search warrants were the conclusion of an ongoing investigation into an organized drug distribution system. This system is believed to have been led by Pedro Silva Chiprez of Sunnyside.

A total of 13 people were arrested on July 20. The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington indicted Pedro Silva Chiprez, Jose Isabel Garcia Meza of Bingen, Samuel Silva Chiprez, Miguel Angel Farias Cornejo, Jorge Rubio Montero, Francisco Javier Plazola Chiprez, Teresa Chiprez, and Wendy Soledad Chiprez for alleged conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and 500 grams or more of cocaine.

The Klickitat County Sheriff's Office had assigned a detective to participate in this operation and coordinate activities associated with the investigation in Klickitat County. Sheriff's Detective Mike Kallio was assigned and commissioned by the Drug Enforcement Agency in February, 2006. As a result, the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at 555 East Jewett, Space C2, which led to the arrest of suspects Miguel Garcia Rodriguez of White Salmon and Jose Isabel Garcia Meza.

At the White Salmon location, the Sheriff's Office recovered over an ounce of suspected methamphetamine and approximately 13 ounces of suspected marijuana and more than $2,000 in U.S. currency.

Another search warrant was executed at 72 Honey Locust Lane in Underwood in Skamania County, which led to the arrest of Angel Cervantes Gonzales. That search warrant recovered over two ounces of suspected methamphetamine.

The Klickitat County Sheriff's Office also seized three vehicles during the raids.

The investigation is continuing and the Sheriff's Office will be filing more charges through the Klickitat County Prosecutor's Office.


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