24 suspects arrested in 18 month drug trafficking investigation

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – An 18 month investigation ending with the arrest of 24 different suspects in the Grants Pass area Tuesday.

“On November 14, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers from around the region executed nine search warrants, arrested 24 individuals, and seized 37 guns including a fully automatic weapon, and an explosive device,” said David F. Reames, special agent in charge for the DEA Seattle Field Division.

The DEA, Grants Pass Police Department, and Oregon State Police held a press conference Wednesday to announce the harrowing conclusion to a drug and gun trafficking operation in Josephine County.

“That organization has been dismantled and is no longer in operation,” said Captain Kyle Kennedy with Oregon State Police.

The nine search warrants issued in and around Grants Pass Tuesday resulted in not only the two dozen arrests, but the discovery of more than 144 thousand fatal doses of fentanyl.

“That’s a very troubling number and everyone should be troubled by that number,” said Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman.

Chief Hensman says this further highlights the dangers of drug use and the need for addiction services in the county.

“We need to continue to work as a team to build more facilities for treatment,” explained Chief Hensman.  “We need more detox facilities.  Oregon needs more detox and sobering facilities and we need more treatment beds.”

Chief Hensman says the investigation is still far from over.

“We’re out there. We’re going to continue to be out there we’re going to be behind the scenes and we’ll be back again.”

All 24 suspects are currently held in Josephine County Jail awaiting trial.  Each case will be prosecuted by the Josephine County District Attorney’s office.

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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