Police break up international crime ring in Washington County
This home on Southwest Naples Court in Beaverton was one of three homes in Washington County police raided before dawn Tuesday. Four people were arrested on forgery, ID theft and drug-related charges.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. - Police served three search warrants and arrested four people Tuesday morning after a year-long investigation into drugs, identity theft and forgery, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said.
Police from several agencies raided a home in Aloha and two in Beaverton at about 4 a.m. They arrested 45-year-old Richard E. Webster, 44-year-old Robbie D. Shelton, 46-year-old Tina M. Heagle and 63-year-old Lesa E. Jump.
They face a variety of charges from forgery, ID theft and drug crimes.
Investigators say the ring sent meth across the United States and overseas. A federal indictment unsealed Tuesday accuses the right of using UPS, FEDEX and the U.S. Postal Service to send meth to Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy and the United Kingdom.
They say the suspects were stealing people's identities, making high-quality fake driver's licenses and selling meth online.
The federal indictment also accuses some alleged ring members of carrying an unusual weapon, in addition to guns. Prosecutors say the weapon, known as a knuckle stun gun, was taken to several local meetings where drug deals were arranged or carried out. The knuckle stun gun can deliver 950,000 volts to a person, incapacitating them.
The sheriff's office says it is still looking for at least one person, Donald R. Bechen, 39, on a federal warrant and says it expects more arrests as it continues its investigation.
Deputies handed out fliers in Washington County, informing residents of the arrests and saying there was no immediate threat to them.