14 arrested in Portland during anti-drug trafficking mission, police say

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — Late Thursday morning, Alex Valle was putting the finishing touches on a mural at the corner of Northwest 4th and Couch Street in Portland’s Old Town.

“The message we were trying to send was a sense of community and unity,” Valle said.

If there is any Portland neighborhood in need Valle’s message, some would argue, it’s Old Town. He frequents the area, and he shared with KGW that Old Town has its issues.

“I mean it’s crazy down here,” Randy Brown said. “You get a lot of drug activity. You get people breaking into buildings.”

Old Town has seen its fair share of violence and shootings as well, which is not lost on police.

On Tuesday and Wednesday the Portland Police Bureau teamed up with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and federal partners to tackle drug trafficking in the area, because drugs can be linked to a recent uptick in violence.

OTHER STORIES: Surveillance video shows thieves stealing $25K in merchandise from Old Town business

Police seized thousands of fentanyl pills, at least $5,000 in cash, a gun and a stolen car. They also made a total of 14 arrests.

“These are meaningful arrests,” Captain James Crooker said. “These are arrests where we have partnerships lined up all the way through the criminal justice system to make sure they’re prosecuted.”

Crooker said the mission was successful due in large part to the community.

“We worked with them to identify the locations where they have been impacted the most by the drug activity,” he said.

Crooker argues the mission restores a sense of safety and livability in Old Town. Who can push back against that? Certainly not Alex Valle, who has been working on his mural for months.

“Now, seeing it all come together, it’s exciting and I’m really happy,” he said.

© 2023 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content