Seven Cornelius residents arrested in multi-agency bust that seizes 5,500 plants
By Christian Gaston
A multi-agency drug task force arrested seven Cornelius residents yesterday in connection marijuana growing operations on public and private forest land in Washington, Yamhill and Tillamook counties.
The Washington County Sheriff’s department reported yesterday that search warrants executed on three houses and five vehicles in Cornelius led to the arrests, which were made in two sweeps.
The search warrants were obtained based on information gathered during an investigation that over the last month led to the seizure of 5,500 marijuana plants in three northwestern Oregon counties
In most cases, police said, the grow operations were guarded by armed men who were sleeping in the vicinity of the marijuana gardens. Some of the grow operations were being carried out on Bureau of Land Management land. The rest of the marijuana was found on private forest land. Officials said none of the land was owned by Stimson Lumber, Co., one the largest private landowners in the area.
Israel Tinoco-Cervantes, 31, was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, Veronia Carrera-Garcia, 21, and Adriana Jacobo-Ortiz, 31, were charged with conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance, and Maul Nieto-Velasquez, 21, was charged with frequenting a place where controlled substances are used.
Later in the day, Jesus Tinoco-Cervantes, 20, Agustin Tinoco-Cervantes, 22, and Jose Magdelano Tovar-Perez, 22, were arrested and charged with manufacturing and distributing a controlled substance.
According to Washington County Jail records, Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds have been placed on Nieto-Velasquez and Israel, Jesus and Augustin Tinoco-Cervantes.
In addition, Israel Tinoco-Cervantes was taken into custody by U.S. Marshalls on a drug-related federal warrant yesterday and was booked at the Multnomah County Jail.
Several law-enforcement agencies participated in the investigation and execution of the warrants, including the Westside Interagency Narcotics team (a coalition of Westside police agencies and the national guard), McMinnville Police, Newberg Police, the Yamhill County and Tillamook County Sherriff’s Offices, Oregon Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Bureau of Land Management and two SWAT teams.