PPB Bike Squad seizes more than five pounds of suspected fentanyl

Portland Police took several pounds of fentanyl off the street Wednesday night.
Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 7:21 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Portland Police took several pounds of fentanyl off the street Wednesday night.

The Central Precinct’s Neighborhood Response Team Bike Squad arrested two men, 22-year-old Josue Natal Perdomo-Moreno and 24-year-old Juan D Santos-Zelaya, in downtown Portland, who are now facing Possession with the Intent to Distribute and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.

“The volume that we’re seeing downtown with fentanyl is huge and unprecedented,” Officer David Baer said.

Baer is a part of the bike squad, and he runs their Instagram account, @ppbcentralbikesquad, which gives a firsthand look at the arrests they make downtown by posting behind the scenes pictures and videos. They posted about two arrests last night, where they seized 5.3 pounds of suspected fentanyl, including about 8,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills that tested positive for fentanyl.

“It’s very candid and raw of, you know, it’s a front row seat to the fentanyl crisis. So, we’re able to share that with people,” Baer said.

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He said they were working a retail theft mission Wednesday when they spotted two men, who they believed were involved in a previous crime. While they were detained, Baer said they found they were both in possession of fentanyl and both had guns on them.

“The bonus of the two firearms is a big win for us. And, you know, those firearms are going to be test fired and evaluated to see if they’re linked to any other crimes downtown,” Baer said.

Christine Azar said she learned about these arrests from the bike squad’s Instagram account.

“To see a drug bust of that magnitude, and the loaded guns, I mean, it is just terrifying what is on our streets,” Azar said. “We’ve been begging for help so I’m grateful to see what they’re doing. Kudos to them.”

She owns Azar Indulgences on Southwest Salmon street and knows all too well the impacts of the fentanyl crisis. She said she’s dealt with break-ins and has seen the deadly consequences of the drug in front of her store.

“It’s one of our biggest problems down here, is drugs and how it ties into theft, because how do you fuel a habit if you don’t have the means to do so? You’re going to steal from businesses,” she said.

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Despite everything she’s seen, she’s planning to stick around.

“Portland is a beautiful city, and we are thriving and thankfully, we’re doing really well and there’s a reason why we’re still here and we just renewed our lease for five more years,” Azar said. “We’re not giving up on Portland but there are problems that need to be addressed and we see it every day.”