SWAT Team Raids Target Klamath County Drug Ring

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, May 15 2013 at 1:54 PM, Updated: Wed, May 15 2013 at 2:07 PM

A massive, coordinated series of raids in Klamath County early this morning resulted in the arrests of over 30 people suspected of being involved in a major drug ring...The busts involved hundreds of police officers, including agents from the A.T.F., D.E.A., and Homeland Security.

The SWAT raid at this home near Bonanza was one of several that rook place at 3 o'clock this morning.

Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah says it may be the biggest law enforcement action in Klamath County history...

"Number of law enforcement agents, probably close to 300.  This was a significant operation."

Preparations for what police are calling 'Operation Trojan Horse' began nearly 7 months ago.

Sergeant Ryan Huntsman of the Klamath County Sheriff's Office:  "The warrants that we're servicing all involve drugs and guns in the residences."

"Receiving of stolen property, drug dealing, burglaries, on and on and on."  Adds Sheriff Skrah.  "It pretty much runs the gamut."

Search warrants were served at 23 homes, resulting in over 30 arrests.

Sheriff Skrah says he's making extra room at the jail...

"We're going to take pod 'C' and open it up, and we may even have to open pod 'D'."

Police say that so far, they've seized over 4 pounds of meth, and more than 2 dozen guns.

Frank Skrah notes that the suspects will face racketeering and drug charges...

"It's my understanding they will be RICO, state RICO charges, 'Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations', which carries a substantial penalty."

"There are many other charges being considered at the time."  Adds Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge.  "And we've picked up some additional people as well as the people who were included in the arrest warrants that were issued by the court."

Skrah says today's operation was sparked by an investigation into the murder of two men found near Bonanza last October...

"It began with the double homicide several months ago, and it culminated with this arrest."

No arrests have been made in connection with that murder...but more drug-related arrests are possible.

Sheriff Skrah says that no shots were fired during the series of raids this morning.

A sheriff's deputy did require stitches to his arm after he cut it on glass while making entry to a home.

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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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