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Eagle Point man gets 10 years for trafficking pounds of meth

An Eagle Point man will serve a decade in prison for his leadership role in trafficking dozens of pounds of methamphetamine to other parts of Oregon.

Rodrigo Caro-Gonzalez, 35, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Eugene to 120 months in prison for his central role distributing more than 50 pounds of methamphetamine from Southern Oregon between about 2015 and 2017, according to a release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office and court documents filed Caro-Gonzalez’s case.

The sentencing marks the end of a three-year Drug Enforcement Administration investigation that led to three other drug convictions.

The investigation started in May 2016 with a tip from a DEA informant, which led to a July 15, 2016, Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement task force traffic stop 10 miles north of the California border on northbound Interstate 5. Investigators seized 36 pounds of methamphetamine from a rented sedan and arrested Conner Scott Olmstead, who was sentenced to five years in federal prison in February 2018.

Olmstead was transporting the drugs for Caro-Gonzalez, according to a sentencing brief filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sweet, who prosecuted the case.

On March 12, 2017, investigators stopped Craig Scott Huckins of Eugene along I-5 in Douglas County with roughly 16 pounds of meth, which federal prosecutors believe was sourced from Caro-Gonzalez. Huckins was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in March.

On May 3, 2017, investigators stopped Ivan Pena-Macias in Springfield with 5 pounds of methamphetamine following an aborted drug deal with undercover narcotics officers, according court documents. Federal prosecutors say that Pena-Macias picked up the meth from Caro-Gonzalez in Eagle Point and drove it to Lane County. Pena-Macias was sentenced to seven years in federal prison in November.

Shortly after Pena-Macias’ arrest, investigators executed a search warrant at Caro-Gonzalez’ Eagle Point home, where investigators seized $9,585 in cash, an “AK-style firearm” with a 30-round magazine, a pistol and ammunition.

“Caro-Gonzalez admitted being in the United States illegally, and his possession of the weapons was therefore unlawful,” Sweet wrote July 24.

William Sharp, Caro-Gonzalez’s lawyer, said the “AK-style” weapon was a Zastava .223 stored high on a shelf and unloaded in the home. Only six rounds of .45 ammunition were seized for the handgun.

Sharp wrote that his client’s involvement in the drug trade escalated rapidly — starting with delivering a large quantity of meth from California in 2015.

State court records show only that Caro-Gonzalez’s only has a traffic violation from 2006 for driving without a license, driving uninsured and speeding. A charge of contempt out of Washington County for failing to pay child support was dismissed in 2017 after Caro-Gonzalez was incarcerated.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.