Oregon Police make one of state's biggest drug busts stopping ca - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oregon Police make one of state's biggest drug busts stopping car heading toward WA border

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SOUTH OF BIGGS JUNCTION, OR. -- Oregon State Police made one of the biggest drug busts in state history last week. Officers arrested two Washington men with bags full of drugs in their car, on Highway 97 heading into Washington. 

This huge bust happened on Highway 97 about 16 miles south of the Washington border South of Biggs Junction, Oregon. An Oregon State Trooper pulled over 32-year-old Alberto Martinez of Moses Lake and 31-year-old Jose Del Rio of Royal City for not having a front license plate on the 2008 Dodge Caravan they were driving.     

When Del Rio reached inside the glove compartment for their license and registration, the trooper saw a handgun. The two suspects were arrested for not having a concealed weapons permit.

Then the trooper noticed a rolled up bill with white powder on it. After a search, police found bag after bag of drugs. In all, they recovered 25 pounds of cocaine and 44 pounds of meth valued at $2.3 million.

We talked to Lieutenant Pat Shortt from OSP on the phone Tuesday morning. He says the department is proud of the trooper's work and this is a good reminder that they never know who they'll encounter on the road. 

"I think it's sobering is what it is," Lt. Shortt said. "For an officer to realize afterward that there is a potential for this amount of narcotics to move through the state and you have to be very, very careful. It's a case of the unknown every time you stop a car."

Martinez and Del Rio now face federal charges of possession with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm. 

State police say this is one of the largest drug busts in recent history and could have an immediate impact on the safety of communities around the northwest. 

Police, with help from Homeland Security, are investigating to see if this was apart of a larger drug ring. 
 

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