Lasting impacts from 'Operation Trojan Horse'

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, March 24 2014 at 4:41 PM, Updated: Mon, March 24 2014 at 6:34 PM

Klamath Falls, Ore. -- It has now been ten months since the largest drug raid in Oregon history took place in Klamath County and that raid is having continuing impacts.

Over 300 cops took part in 'Operation Trojan Horse' last May.

"It was hugely successful."  Says Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah.  "We put 40-some people in jail, took a lot of dope off the street."

The Klamath County District Attorney, and the state are still prosecuting the suspects on racketeering and drug charges...some have been sentenced to as much as 5 years in prison.

"We've moved through the majority of those cases in 'Trojan Horse.'"  Notes Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge.  "We've got about 10, less than 10 cases left to complete."

Patridge hopes to have those cases resolved by the end of this summer.

The initial investigation was triggered by the 2012 murders of Evarardo Mendez-Ceja and Ricardo Jauregui.

"First, it wasn't a murder."  Corrected Sheriff Skrah.  "It was a contract kill.  It was drug cartel related, that's organized crime."

The Sheriff believes the operation has led to a decrease in the amount of meth passing through Klamath County.

And the D.A. believes the operation also helped to reduce crime in general...

"The thefts went down substantially, especially a lot of the shoplifting and other things, because people knew we were taking crime very seriously."

District Attorney Patridge cautions that the drug problem is still alive and well in Klamath County.

Patridge plans to help organize an inter-agency drug team later this year.

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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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