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Three meth, fentanyl traffickers sentenced in Oregon last week

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(The Center Square) – Three drug traffickers from Oregon, including the leader of a Klamath Falls drug trafficking organization, were sentenced to federal prison last week in three separate criminal cases.

The men were sentenced following investigations by the Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced.Juan Jessie Martinez-Gil, a 59-year-old former Reno, Nevada, resident, got 87 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release.Blake Anthony Fulleton, a 35-year-old from Klamath Falls, received 51 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release.Plus, Miguel Espana, a 31-year-old from Klamath Falls, got 84 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release.From August 2019 to September 2021, Martinez-Gil and his associates conspired to traffic large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl — which were counterfeit Oxycodone pills — from Southern California to Southern Oregon. They sold these drugs in Klamath and Lake counties.Law enforcement arrested Martinez-Gil and many of his associates on September 2, 2021, after executing federal search warrants on five locations and two vehicles connected to the group. Law enforcement seized over 17 pounds of methamphetamine and several hundred counterfeit Oxycodone pills.Later that month, a federal grand jury charged Martinez-Gil and his associates with “conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, distribution of methamphetamine and fentanyl, and attempted distribution of methamphetamine,” according to the release.Martinez-Gil pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl in November 2023.Meanwhile, in September 2021, Klamath Falls Police Department detectives saw Fulleton leave a known drug house in the community. He already had multiple active felony warrants.After he left the scene, Fulleton crashed into a power pole, and officers arrested him after a short foot pursuit.When arrested, Fulleton was in possession of methamphetamine. A vehicle search also found a loaded pistol, an extra 480 grams of methamphetamine, a small amount of heroin, and different drug packaging materials.A federal grand jury gave Fulleton an indictment in February 2022 for “possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon,” a release said.Fulleton pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a firearm in December 2023.Plus, in 2019, Klamath Falls law enforcement started investigating Espana for drug trafficking and found out that he had about two pounds of methamphetamine in his vehicle. Investigators found him sitting in the passenger seat of his car near a motel in October 2019 and stopped his vehicle when it left the lot. After inspecting his car, investigators found about 717 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale, a drug ledger, and $758 in cash.A federal jury indicted Espana in February 2021 with one count of possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty to this charge in October 2023.BINET investigated all three cases. BINET investigators got help from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on the Martinez-Gil and Espana cases, while it got help from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on the Fulleton case.Marco A. Boccato, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, prosecuted Martinez-Gil and Espana. Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Brassell, also of the District of Oregon, prosecuted Fulleton.”BINET is a Klamath Falls area narcotics task force comprised of Oregon State Police, the Klamath Falls Police Department, and Oregon National Guard,” the release said.The news comes as Oregon lawmakers recriminalize drug possession due to the downsides of the 2020 voter-approved Measure 110 that decriminalized it.Portland, Oregon, saw eight drug overdose deaths in one weekend alone in May 2023; six of them were likely fentanyl-related, according to The Associated Press. Additionally, fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths more than doubled in Oregon, from 226 in 2020 to 508 in 2021, the report said.Since Measure 110 became law, Oregon has seen more homelessness and drug overdose deaths, according to Stateline. The state also had fewer convention and hotel bookings in response to the law, the report said.Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18 to 49, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

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