Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Large Seizure of Drugs, Guns

Posted on December 29, 2022

Multi-agency investigation leads to large seizure of drugs, guns

Salem, Ore. — Detectives from the Salem Police Strategic Investigations Unit arrested two Salem residents yesterday afternoon, as part of a months-long investigation into the illegal sale and distribution of narcotics and guns and the illegal manufacturing of firearms.

Leonel Covarrubias Hernandez, age 45, and Silvia Rodriguez Diaz, age 50, were arrested without incident during a traffic stop on Tuesday, December 27. Inside the vehicle, detectives located two loaded handguns, plastic bags containing fentanyl pills, and US currency. A search warrant served at the residence shared by Hernandez and Diaz in the 2700 block of High ST SE led to the discovery of additional quantities of drugs and guns. In total, the following items were seized:

  • $63,274 US currency
  • 29.2 pounds of methamphetamine
  • 15.1 pounds of cocaine
  • 12.3 pounds of fentanyl pills, or approximately 55,000 pills
  • 2.4 pounds of heroin
  • 26 firearms
  • One 3D printer

The approximate street value of the narcotics seized in this investigation is just under $700K.

Hernandez and Diaz are currently lodged at the Multnomah County Jail pending federal drug-trafficking charges by the US Attorney’s Office District of Oregon.

The investigation which led to the pair’s arrest resulted from the  Salem Police Department’s partnership with the Safe Streets Task Force, a collaboration between the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the US Attorney’s Office District of Oregon. The interagency partnership brings increased focus and resources to address narcotics trafficking and violent crime in Salem.

“Preventing illicit drugs from spreading in our city and illegal firearms from fueling violence is a top priority,” said Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack. “Yesterday’s arrest is an example of the incredible work being done by our detectives through the Safe Streets Project which can only be accomplished thanks to our federal partners.”

Since the start of 2022, Safe Streets Task Force investigations have resulted in the seizure of more than 125K fentanyl-laced tablets and 1.5 pounds fentanyl powder, nearly 140 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of cocaine, approximately 4 pounds of heroin, and 172 firearms in our community.

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