Klamath County Drug Busts Impact Kids, Pets, Livestock

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, May 16 2013 at 5:15 PM, Updated: Thu, May 16 2013 at 5:25 PM

There are 38 people behind bars in Klamath County tonight, as the result of one of the largest drug raids in Oregon history...but there were also some innocent victims from Wednesday's operation.

While Wednesday's raids targeted what police say is a major drug ring, Lieutenant Jeanette Davidson of the Klamath County Sheriff's Office notes that the planning included concern for the children of the suspects...

"DHS had been placed on standby, with the understanding that we had intel that there were kids in several of the locations where search warrants were served."

"We ended up getting involved in eight families."  Adds Jennifer Buckingham of the Oregon Department of Human Services.  "Which included eleven children.  Of those, only one was placed in non-relative foster care."

While some arrested were parents, others had pets or livestock.

There were three horses at a home raided near Bonanza...this puppy was one of many dogs and cats that will need care.

"The animal control officer will be in touch with jail staff to see about arrangements for those animals."  Said Lieutenant Davidson.  "But in the meantime, he is going to be monitoring the locations to make sure that they have adequate food and water."

Klamath County Animal Control Officer Mike Horton said today that only one dog had to be taken to a shelter.  The rest have found homes with friends, relatives, and neighbors.

Over 300 police officers took part in Wednesday's raids, which has been dubbed 'Operation Trojan Horse'.

The large number of arrests forced the Klamath County Sheriff to open a mothballed jail pod that had been closed due to budget cuts.


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About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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