A months-long investigation by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Dangerous Drugs Team resulted in one of the largest illegal fentanyl seizures in state history, and the largest seizure in agency history.
The Dangerous Drugs Team (DDT), a grant-funded narcotics task force (more information below), executed an early morning search warrant on December 7, 2023, culminating an investigation into a drug trafficking organization selling fentanyl in the tri-county area.
During the investigation, DDT identified several suspects and their co-conspirators, as well as cars and houses believed to be involved. Search warrants were executed at locations in Portland and Oregon City. At the Portland location, law enforcement located more than 52 pounds of fentanyl powder. At the Oregon City location, more than one pound of fentanyl powder and over 8,000 fentanyl pills were discovered.
In addition to the drugs, over $30,000 in cash and multiple firearms were seized. The weapons found included two firearms that were broken down and concealed in packages addressed for locations outside the United States.
DDT estimates that the more than 50 pounds of fentanyl powder seized would have yielded 11 million individual doses, which would have otherwise been sold in the Portland-area.
Due to the excessive amount of fentanyl powder being processed, detectives used personal protective equipment and had NARCAN (Naloxone nasal spray) available in case of accidental exposure. The bulk fentanyl, over 50 pounds, was found open in a cardboard box lined with a trash bag.
Three people were booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center: 23-year-old Luis Funez, 21-year-old Gerson Isaac Hernandez Betancurt, and 37-year-old Dezirae Ann Torset. The case has been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The Dangerous Drugs Team is a narcotics task force that identifies, disrupts, and dismantles local, multi-state, and international drug trafficking organizations using an intelligence-driven, multi-agency, prosecutor-supported approach. MCDDT is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) which is composed of members from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Gresham Police, FBI, Parole and Probation, and U.S. Marshals.
Special thanks the U.S. Marshal Service, the FBI and Clackamas County Inter-Agency Task Force (CCITF) for their assistance in executing the warrants.
MCSO wants to remind the public that one pill can kill. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reports that it only takes 2 milligrams of fentanyl — about the weight of a few grains of salt — to cause a fatal overdose. Today, six out of ten DEA-tested pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose. To learn more about the scope of the fentanyl crisis, visit the DEA’s Fentanyl Awareness page. Information about addiction services and recovery support in Multnomah County can be found here.