Deputies: Vancouver auto shops used as fronts for meth dealing - KPTV - FOX 12

Deputies: Vancouver auto shops used as fronts for meth dealing

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Investigators say this thermos type container allowed liquid methamphetamine to harden and crystallize. // Photo: Clark County Sheriff's Office Investigators say this thermos type container allowed liquid methamphetamine to harden and crystallize. // Photo: Clark County Sheriff's Office
An officer shows a solid chunk of meth after it was removed from the container. It weighs 2 1/2 pounds and has a street value of $30,000. // Photo: Clark County Sheriff's Office An officer shows a solid chunk of meth after it was removed from the container. It weighs 2 1/2 pounds and has a street value of $30,000. // Photo: Clark County Sheriff's Office
VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

A drug task force in the Vancouver area raided seven addresses Thursday, including several auto repair shops that were used as fronts for meth trafficking, detectives said.

Clark County deputies said Daladier Torres Ambriz, 33, is the main suspect in the case. He's believed to be responsible for bringing large amounts of meth from Mexico to the Vancouver area, where it was then distributed through a network of people at auto repair shops, deputies said.

Detectives began investigating 10 months ago, and said they witnessed numerous drug deals over the course of their investigation.

On Thursday morning, they served search warrants at the homes of several suspects. At 10808 N.E. 96th St., they arrested Torres Ambriz and Felix Eduardo Ambriz Rodriguez. They also found $30,000 in cash, paper documents reflecting cash transfers to Mexico and four cars used to deliver the drugs, deputies said.

Other search warrants at Hazel Dell-area homes turned up an additional 2 1/2 pounds of meth, a drug scale, cell phones, a laptop computer, notes documenting drug deals and a gun, according to the sheriff's office.

Investigators also searched multiple small warehouse-style auto repair shops on Northeast 95th Street west of Highway 99. That's where the meth was held for daily deliveries, deputies said, and detectives watched as the meth order was driven from a shop location to the location of the drug buy.

Those addresses were 1103 N.E. 95th St. #B, #C and #D. A warrant was also served at 1017 N.E. 95th St., #D1.

Deputies said they seized six guns, two ounces of meth, a drug scale and drug packaging materials at the auto shops.

Task force commander Mike Cooke said the auto shops may have repaired a few cars "here and there," but their main business was for meth dealing.

"Although these businesses appeared to be legitimate, they were in fact simply fronts for a large drug trafficking organization," Cooke said.

Torres Ambriz, Ambriz Rodriguez, Jose Toscano, Jose Gabriel Aguilar and Beningo Blasquez Moreno were all arrested in connection with the drug ring. They were booked into the Clark County Jail on drug charges, with Torres Ambriz facing an additional charge of leading organized crime.

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