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MailTribune.com
  • Raid nabs nearly 6 pounds of meth

    Seizure is largest ever from local black market, police say
  • A Friday morning police raid on a southwest Medford home netted almost 6 pounds of methamphetamine in the single largest seizure from a drug house in MADGE's four-year history, authorities said.
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  • A Friday morning police raid on a southwest Medford home netted almost 6 pounds of methamphetamine in the single largest seizure from a drug house in MADGE's four-year history, authorities said.
    Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement team investigators also arrested a 35-year-old suspected illegal alien who police believe was selling methamphetamine locally for at least the past two months.
    "This was the largest that MADGE has ever done," said Lt. Kevin Walruff, MADGE's commander. "And this wasn't drugs traveling through. They were destined to be sold here in the Rogue Valley."
    Manuel Gastelum-Ferro was arraigned Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges of unlawful possession, manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. He remained Monday in the Jackson County Jail without bail while his immigration status was reviewed, jail records show.
    His case was scheduled to be presented today to a Jackson County grand jury, Walruff said.
    MADGE investigators two months ago developed information that Gastelum-Ferro was selling methamphetamine, Walruff said. Investigators believe Castelum-Ferro, who has ties to Southern California, moved to Medford recently and had been renting a house in the 1300 block of Andrew Drive, Walruff said.
    MADGE officers got a search warrant and, along with immigration agents, raided the house Friday morning and hit the mother lode — 5.91 pounds of methamphetamine stashed in the residence and vehicles.
    "We knew he had a fair amount, but we initially didn't think it would be that large," Walruff said.
    Since its inception in 2010, MADGE agents in the past have intercepted as much as 65 pounds of methamphetamine heading up Interstate 5, but no single seizure as large as Friday's from someone based here, Walruff said.
    Investigators believe the methamphetamine originated in Southern California, but "we're still trying to determine who the source of that supply was," he said.
    Also seized from the residence were scales and packaging material, police said.
    No other local arrests were expected, Walruff said.
    Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at mfreeman@mailtribune.com.
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