Police arrested two people and seized almost 30 pounds of meth, 26 guns and 15 pounds of cocaine during a drug bust at a South Salem home Tuesday.
Salem Police detectives said the arrest came after a monthslong investigation into narcotics trafficking and the illegal manufacturing of firearms.
About 55,000 fentanyl pills, a 3D printer, $63,274 in cash and 2.4 pounds of heroin were also found at the residence on the 2700 block of High Street SE, near McKinley Elementary School.
Salem Police partnered 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 U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Oregon to target narcotics trafficking and violent crime in Salem.
Their investigation led them to Leonel Covarrubias Hernandez, 45, of Salem, and Silvia Rodriguez Diaz, 50, of Salem.
According to court records, police surveilled Covarrubias Hernandez while he allegedly sold counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl three times over the course of two months.
The investigation led them to the home on High Street and Waldo Avenue in South Salem.
After extensive surveillance, which included monitoring cell phone geolocation and investigating the home’s garbage, Covarrubias Hernandez and Rodriguez Diaz were arrested without incident during a traffic stop on Tuesday.
Inside the vehicle, detectives located two loaded handguns and plastic bags containing fentanyl pills.
The approximate street value of the narcotics seized in the home and vehicle is just under $700,000 police said.
The pair appeared in court on Thursday on charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Police officials said that since the start of 2022, Safe Streets Task Force investigations have resulted in the seizure of more than 125,000 fentanyl-laced tablets and 1.5 pounds of fentanyl powder, nearly 140 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of cocaine, approximately 4 pounds of heroin and 172 firearms in the community.
“Preventing illicit drugs from spreading in our city and illegal firearms from fueling violence is a top priority,” Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack said. “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.”
Reporter Whitney Woodworth covers city hall, economic development and business for the Statesman Journal. For questions, comments and news tips, email email@example.com, call 503-910-6616 or follow on Twitter @wmwoodworth.