Medford drug dealer accused of selling stolen guns
A Medford man with multiple felony drug convictions — plus pending charges surrounding a Central Point drug bust last fall — faces federal gun charges for allegedly selling a cache of firearms to a police informant.
Osbaldo Silva, 35, is in the Jackson County Jail on a federal hold and state charges surrounding the alleged sale last month of several firearms to an informant working with the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement task force, according to documents filed in Jackson County Circuit Court and a press release issued Friday by Medford police.
On Dec. 29, Silva allegedly sold the informant a .223 silencer and an AK-47 rifle for $1,000, and offered to sell the informant more firearms because he was “broke and needed money to re-up his supply of drugs,” according to court documents filed by MADGE.
Police say Silva arranged a $3,000 deal with the informant for seven firearms: an AR-15 rifle, a shotgun and five handguns. Silva fronted the weapons to the informant for $1,000 cash, allowing the informant to pay the rest at a later date.
Six of the seven firearms had serial numbers that flagged them as stolen, according to Medford police.
Police arrested Silva on the weapons charges in the north Medford Walmart parking lot Dec. 31, and he’s been held in the Jackson County Jail ever since. During his arrest, police said they found two $100 bills from the gun sale in Silva’s wallet, plus five more of the bills on Silva’s girlfriend, identified as Samantha Jaye Williams, 34, who was arrested for hindering prosecution.
Police said that Williams removed evidence from Silva’s black BMW in early November after MADGE raided Silva’s alleged “stash house” in Central Point.
On the morning of Nov. 1, MADGE raided the house, in the 6400 block of Honeytree Lane, and seized about seven pounds of methamphetamine, two pounds of heroin and small amounts of prescription medications and psychedelic mushrooms, according to earlier news reports. At the time, MADGE described the search as “the culmination of several years of investigative work.”
During the raid, Silva allegedly eluded police in a car. They later found Silva at his home in the 800 block of Dakota Avenue, but not the car.
In phone calls from the Jackson County Jail in November, Silva allegedly told Williams where to find the BMW, and Williams told Silva she removed the evidence, according to court documents filed in Williams’ case. The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office described the tampered evidence as “currency and/or a vehicle.”
When police stopped Williams in the BMW on the afternoon of Nov. 5, she allegedly lied to detectives by telling them that someone else had left the car at her home and put the keys in her mailbox, according to court documents filed by police.
Williams was arrested Dec. 31, and was released from the jail Jan. 17, after she posted 10 percent of bail set at $5,000, court records show.
A federal grand jury will convene in February to consider federal charges in the December weapons case and November drug case, according to Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau. As of Friday afternoon, no charges had been filed in U.S. District Court in Medford.
“This is a win for us,” Budreau said. “This is a win for Southern Oregon.”
Silva was allegedly part of a “large scale drug trafficking operation out of Southern California,” according to Budreau.
In a press release, Medford police said Silva was “unique” among area drug dealers in Southern Oregon “in that he sold drugs but did not use them.”
A co-suspect in Silva’s drug case, Corey Dennis Bearnson of Central Point, faces felony charges of manufacturing, delivering and possessing methamphetamine and delivering and possessing heroin. An April 23 trial date has been set for Bearnson.
Silva has a felony drug record dating back to 2003, when he was convicted of delivering methamphetamine in Medford, Jackson County Circuit Court records show. Silva was convicted of manufacturing marijuana in 2006, and delivering heroin and marijuana in 2013.
Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.