Drug team busts Talent woman, 60, in meth raid

Christine Peterson charged with possession, delivery and manufacture of methamphetamine

TALENT — A woman is in jail on more than $1 million bail for allegedly dealing methamphetamine from her residence in a Talent mobile home park, police reported.

Christine Lee Peterson, 60, of the 400 block of West Valley View Road, was being held in the Jackson County Jail late Thursday on charges of delivery, manufacture and possession of methamphetamine. Investigators with a search warrant raided Peterson's residence in a mobile home park on Wednesday. Police found an ounce of methamphetamine, packaging, scales and drug records and arrested her, according to a release from the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement team.

Court records show Peterson was convicted of delivery of methamphetamine in 2002, when she served 30 days in jail.

The arrest culminated a monthlong investigation headed up by MADGE, a multi-agency unit with investigators from Medford police, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and Oregon State Police. The FBI, Jackson County District Attorney's Office and Jackson County Community Justice also beling to the task force.

MADGE Lt. Brett Johnson said investigators used informants to make buys from Peterson.

"A lot of times we'll make multiple buys, and we'll end up obtaining a search warrant and we'll go from there," Johnson said.

Compared to the rest of the Rogue Valley, a MADGE drug arrest in a smaller community such as Talent is not common, but not unheard of, police said.

"(Methamphetamine sales) tend to gravitate toward the larger cities because I think it's an easier business model," Johnson said.

Specific numbers for the amount of methamphetamine seized so far in 2013 are not available, but MADGE did collect more than 100 pounds of the drug in 2012.

"That's a record," Johnson said.

Additionally, MADGE made 107 drug-related arrests in 2012.

"Methamphetamine is certainly still king, but heroin's catching up quickly," Johnson said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.

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