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Detectives seize 30 pounds of meth in two drug busts around Ashland

Three people are accused of trafficking drugs from California into the Rogue Valley, according to Medford Police.

Posted: Feb 19, 2020 10:32 AM

ASHLAND, Ore. — Detectives with Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE) seized roughly 30 pounds of methamphetamine between two traffic stops within the past week, according to Medford Police.

Investigators with MADGE had been working on a large-scale drug trafficking ring suspected of smuggling meth into the Rogue Valley. On Sunday, detectives identified a vehicle they believed was involved — a 2015 Nissan Rogue registered in California.

Officers had eyes on the Nissan as it pulled into a Chevron station along Highway 66 in Ashland. Detectives went to talk with the two people in the car, identified as 36-year-old Christian Olivarria-Aguirre and 35-year-old Jacqueline Castillo.

Medford Police said that the two consented to a search of the vehicle, leading to the discovery of 20 pounds of meth. Aguirre and Castillo were arrested and lodged in jail on $500,000 bail.

Two days later, MADGE detectives were working on a "different drug trafficking organization" from California. They spotted a 2020 GMC SUV heading northbound on I-5 until they saw the driver commit traffic violations, Medford Police said.

Officers stopped the car just south of Ashland. The driver, 59-year-old Ernesto Vela of California, reportedly consented to a search. Detectives found 10 pounds of meth inside the car.

"In both cases, detectives believed the drugs were destined for the Rogue Valley," Medford Police said. "MADGE remains committed to dismantling and disrupting drug trafficking organizations that bring drugs into our area."

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