Drug task force makes largest meth bust in Clark County history - KPTV - FOX 12

Drug task force makes largest meth bust in Clark County history

Posted: Updated: Aug 8, 2012 01:27 PM
VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

A drug task force has made the largest methamphetamine bust in Clark County history.

Investigators served six search warrants in Clark County between Monday and Tuesday.

In one apartment at the Cascade Apartments located at 11304 S.E. 10th St., Vancouver, they seized 74 pounds of meth. The street value is $932,400.

Deputies say that apartment was identified early in the investigation as a safe house for drug traffickers.

"You could see the blinds opening and they had the mattress put up against the wall. They then put fans in the windows," said Erica Thompson, who watched as members of the drug task force served the warrants at the Cascade Apartments.

In addition to the drugs, the task force also found $45,500 in cash during their searches.

Investigators said the drug trafficking organization targeted by this bust is based out of Mexico, operating in Clark County and is responsible for transporting large amounts of methamphetamine from California and distributing it through Portland and Vancouver.

"The fact of the matter is, you don't get 74 pounds of meth from some local producer. This is coming up the I-5 corridor and being distributed locally," said Shane Gardner, with the Clark County Sheriff's Office.

Santos Camacho-Cardenas, 23, of Vancouver, was arrested on drug charges Monday, along with Hever Zavala-Leon, 31, of Vancouver, on a weapons charge.

Two other arrests linked to this case were made in May. Deputies said two suspects traveled from California to Clark County to collect cash from meth sales.

Alejandro Guerrero-Corona, 31, of Los Angeles, and Eduardo Herrera-Ibarra, 28, of Vancouver, were already under surveillance in Clark County. Deputies said they were arrested when they started to move the money southbound on Interstate 5 from the Hazel Dell area.

The following is a summary of the Vancouver locations searched:

4318 NE 55th Place

11304 SE 10th St.

4706 NE 152nd Ave.

16506 NE 99th St.

2326 Neals Ln.

7416 NE Hazel Dell Ave. #48

Along with the drugs and cash, the task force seized two large containers of methamphetamine oil, four vehicles and four guns this week. Two of the guns were reported stolen.

The methamphetamine oil was removed and disposed of by the Department of Ecology.

"I'm glad somebody is not dead, but with all those drugs, somebody could have easily been killed. I'm just glad that it's all gone," said Thompson.

The property owners of the 10th Street apartments where the drugs were found contacted FOX 12 on Wednesday.

They said the people arrested in the drug investigation did not live in the complex.

That apartment is leased to a woman who passed all their criminal and credit screenings.

The owners said they also do regular inspections of the apartments. Last month, they were in the unit where police found 74 pounds of meth and said nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Security officers also did not see any high traffic over the last several months in that area, according to the owners.

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