Police Tape

The Linn County Inter-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, with help from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, executed a search warrant on Monday that yielded 76 pounds of methamphetamine, two-and-a-half pounds of cocaine, two handguns, drug paraphernalia, a money counter and more than $50,000 in cash.

The months-long investigation spanned from Springfield to Hubbard as part of the task force's efforts to interdict drug trafficking along the I-5 corridor. News of the warrant was released on Friday.

Agents arrested Rafael Ceballos-Castillo, 49, and his son, Rafael Ceballos Jr., 20, both of Hubbard. Both were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Ceballos-Castillo Sr. was found in Springfield with more than $50,000 in cash on his person.

Ceballos-Castillo's brother, Jose Ceballos-Castillo, 28, was also arrested on Thursday, Oct. 5, and appeared on the criminal complaint before Magistrate Thomas M. Coffin. All three men are in custody in Lane County, pending detention hearings.

"It is the most recent example of our collective efforts to keep Oregonians safe from the insidious nature of drug trafficking and those organizations willing to prey on those battling addiction," said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Cam Strahm.

According to the criminal charges, law enforcement officers began investigating Rafael Ceballos-Castillo and Jose Ceballos Jr. in July 2017, after identifying Ceballos-Castillo as a supplier of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine.

In the Hubbard raid, agents found a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun along with 57 pounds of meth. At a second residence in Salem, agents seized more than 13 pounds of meth, more than one pound of heroin, and a loaded Smith and Wesson .357 caliber revolver and ammunition, along with drug paraphernalia and a money counter.

The DEA and the Task Force executed the raid with assistance from the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force, the FBI, Salem Police Department Street Crimes Unit, the Springfield Police Department, and the Hubbard Police Department.

The Linn County Inter-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, which consists of investigators from the Albany, Lebanon, and Sweet Home police departments, the Linn County Sheriff's Office, the Oregon State Police, the Oregon National Guard Counter Drug Task Force and the DEA, was created after the county was designated a High Density Drug Trafficking Area in January 2016.

Contact reporter Neil Zawicki at 541-812-6099 or neil.zawicki@lee.net


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