Sisters man busted for fentanyl, meth
Last updated 11/15/2022 at Noon
Detectives from the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE Team) arrested a 46-year-old Sisters man on multiple drug charges on Friday, November 11.
According to Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), the CODE Team concluded a short-term investigation with the arrest of Paul Weston of Sisters.
Sgt. Vander Kamp reported that after receiving several community complaints, CODE detectives identified Weston as a fentanyl trafficker in the Sisters area. The initial investigation alleges Weston imported fentanyl pills from the Portland area into Central Oregon, where he distributes them.
After an overnight surveillance operation in the Portland area, CODE Detectives applied for, obtained, and executed a search warrant. At approximately 9:30 a.m., Weston was contacted during a traffic stop on Highway 20 west, near milepost 96, while driving a 2021 Dodge Ram pick-up towing a dump trailer.
Dectives from CODE and DCSO gathered and seized a commercial quantity of fake pharmaceutical tablets made of fentanyl, and a separate package of methamphetamine. At the same time, it was also determined that Weston was driving under the influence of a controlled substance, Sgt. Vander Kamp reported.
A “commercial quantity” is defined by statute as five grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl or any substituted derivative of fentanyl as defined by the rules of the Oregon Board of Pharmacy. Law enforcement notes that this is not a separate criminal charge, but denotes an increase in the sentencing guidelines.
The greater Portland area is a central transshipment hub where illegal drugs from the southwest border are stored in local warehouses, storage units, and residential properties, according to law enforcement. The bulk shipments of drugs are usually broken down into smaller quantities and transported to other states or distributed to local dealers. In addition, the Portland area has an international airport, interstate highways, and bus and train lines that make it easy for shipments to be smuggled to other destinations around the Pacific Northwest.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 107,000 people have died due to a drug overdose or poisoning in the U.S.
In a press release, Sgt. Vander Kamp stated: “Criminal drug networks in Mexico are mass-producing illicit fentanyl and fake pills pressed with fentanyl in filthy, clandestine, unregulated labs. These fake pills are designed to look like real prescription pills based on size, shape, color, and stamping. These fake pills typically replicate real prescription opioid medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin®, Percocet®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), and alprazolam (Xanax®); or stimulants like amphetamines (Adderall®).
Weston was lodged in the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Jail on the following criminal charges:
- DUII - Drugs.
- Unlawful Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl).
- Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine.