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Oregon Sheriff’s Office Makes Biggest Fentanyl Bust In County History, Then Suspected Ringleader Released

  Portland area law enforcement made the biggest fentanyl bust in the history of the local sheriff’s office but then released the suspected ...

 Portland area law enforcement made the biggest fentanyl bust in the history of the local sheriff’s office but then released the suspected ringleader before prosecutors could file charges.

The suspected ringleader was arrested on Thursday but released later that day, according to court documents reported by Willamette Week.

The suspect then did not show up at his court hearing the next day.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that it had seized more than 52 pounds of powdered fentanyl, the biggest seizure in the county’s history and one of the largest in Oregon’s history.

The drug bust was the result of a months-long investigation, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office raided two locations on Thursday, one in Portland, where the fentanyl powder was found, and one in Oregon City, where they found more than 8,000 fentanyl pills.

The cops also found more than $30,000 cash and multiple firearms, including “two disassembled rifles, an AR-15 and an AK-47,” hidden in a package set to go to Honduras.

The 52 pounds of fentanyl powder amounted to about 11 million individual doses, which police believe would have been sold in the Portland area.

Three people were arrested: Luis Funez, 23, Gerson Isaac Hernandez-Betancurt, 21, and Dezirae Ann Torset, 37.

Funez was described as the suspected ringleader in court documents. He was arrested while fleeing his house in Northeast Portland.

Torset was said to be his girlfriend, and Hernandez-Betancurt an accomplice making deliveries.

All three suspects were booked in Multnomah County jail.

Funez was booked at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday but released later that day, according to jail records. He was instructed to show up in court the next morning, but he did not. His whereabouts are now unclear.


Hernandez-Betancurt and Torset were not released immediately.

Prosecutors had intended to bring new charges against Funez after Thursday’s drug bust, but he was released before they could file them, according to an affidavit filed Friday.

Funez, who also goes by Arteaga-Sanchez, was already facing multiple prior drug charges from January. He also had a warrant out for his arrest stemming from his failure to appear at a March court hearing.

Funez told authorities he had just come to Portland from Sacramento, where he had lived for five years. Before that, he had lived in Honduras.

A spokesperson for Multnomah County’s Department of Community Justice said the county followed the state’s required guidelines on who can be held in jail before trial.

Oregon, and especially the Portland area, has struggled for years with an influx of fentanyl, which has worsened an addiction crisis and contributed to the spiraling homelessness problem in the area.

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