KLAMATH FALLS — A detective testifying in a drug trial in Southern Oregon said investigators have identified a suspect in the deaths of two men who were found buried on a ranch more than four years ago.
Eric Shepherd is a former Klamath County sheriff's detective now with Medford police. He identified Joaquin Lopez as the suspect in the double homicide that led to the large-scale drug bust known as Operation Trojan Horse. More than 300 law enforcement officers arrested at least three dozen people in the May 2013 raids, described as an effort to dismantle a drug and weapons distribution ring.
The Herald and News reports (https://is.gd/ziqfoy) that Shepherd disclosed the suspect's name at the trial of Jose Buenaventura Vinals, who is being tried on drug and racketeering charges.
Shepherd testified that detectives worked with Vinals to obtain information about Lopez. Police believe Lopez fled the area after the killings.
The bodies of 32-year-old Everardo Mendez-Ceja and 38-year-old Ricardo Jauregui were found in October 2012 outside Bonanza, Oregon.
Jauregui's burned-out truck was found six miles away.
Information from: Herald and News, http://www.heraldandnews.com.