Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) Team Investigation Leads to Major Heroin Seizure & 4 Arrests in Grants Pass


January 23, 2014


Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
gregg.hastings@state.or.us
www.twitter.com/ORStatePolice


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A major narcotics investigation by the interagency Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) team led to the arrest of four people and the seizure of over two pounds of heroin, five ounces of methamphetamine, less than a pound of marijuana, eight firearms, stolen ATV’s and other stolen property and evidence. The heroin seizure alone is described as the largest amount seized by RADE during the team’s five year existence.
 
According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Drug Enforcement Section and RADE supervisor, Sergeant Jim Johnson, on January 21, 2014 at approximately 2:30 p.m., search warrants were served at adjacent Grants Pass-area properties including a residence at 2955 Cloverlawn Drive and a 5th wheel travel trailer parked at 2989 Cloverlawn Drive. RADE detectives were assisted during the execution of the warrants by members from:
 
* Medford Drug Enforcement Administration
* Medford Homeland Security
* Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives
* Medford Area Drug & Gang Enforcement (MADGE) team
* OSP Highway Interdiction Team (HIT)
* OSP Criminal Investigations Division – Major Crimes Section
* OSP Arson & Explosives Section
* OSP Drug Detection Canine & Patrol Services Division
* Grants Pass Department of Public Safety Major Crime Division
 
Detectives arrested the following suspects and lodged them in the Josephine County Jail:
 
* MARCOS ANTONIO GUTIERREZ, age 35, and SAMUEL DeLaCRUZ GUTIERREZ, age 42, were arrested at the trailer location where detectives seized the narcotics and firearms, including a loaded sawed off shotgun by a bed, found in various locations throughout the trailer. Charges for both suspects include Unlawful Possession, Distribution, and Manufacture of a Controlled Substance – Heroin and Methamphetamine.
 
* CHRISTINE ESQUIVEL, age 23, was arrested at her residence at 2955 Cloverlawn Drive after detectives seized a smaller amount of methamphetamine, a stolen ATV, and other evidence. Charges for ESQUIVEL include Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine and two counts of Unlawful Use of a Vehicle.
 
* DAVID WESTLEY JONES, age 31, reportedly fled the scene on January 21 when search warrants were being served. JONES was taken into custody on January 22 when additional search warrants were obtained by an OSP detective. He was found inside the 5th wheel travel trailer and arrested on a Probation Violation warrant stemming from previous burglary charges, Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine, and two counts of Unlawful Use of a Vehicle.  
 
During the initial and subsequent search of the properties, three stolen ATV’s were located along with stolen tools and additional stolen property.
 
Sergeant Johnson noted that although Josephine County is known nationwide where illegal high-grade marijuana is produced and distributed, this latest investigation demonstrates the effort law enforcement agencies are collectively putting forth to prevent the distribution of heroin and methamphetamine in our communities.
 
“We are very fortunate to live in an area where law enforcement agencies combine resources for a common goal to protect our communities,” said Johnson.
 
Additional arrests are anticipated and further charges are pending in this ongoing investigation involving federal, state and local investigators.
 
Anyone with information regarding suspicious drug activity or marijuana growing operations is encouraged to call the RADE tip line at (541) 955-6970. The interagency narcotics RADE team is comprised of personnel from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, Oregon State Police, Josephine County District Attorney's Office, and the Josephine County Community Corrections.