A two month, multi-city drug bust ended with 26 lbs. of drugs, nearly half a million dollars and one Beaverton homeowner who swears he’ll never again rent out a room of his house without first doing a background check.
Tuesday, 7 people were arrested, most of them in Salem. But 52-year-old David Bacon was at a home on SW 160th Ave. renting a room in an upscale neighborhood.
“I had no idea we had someone like that living down the street," neighbor Odai Naboulsi said Thursday.
Neighbors described a scene right out of a movie: police in riot gear shooting tear gas into the home, a K-9 unit and an officer ordering people to come out with a bull horn.
Neighbor Mary Summer said an officer came to her house warning that her family should stay inside because police were about to use chemicals.
'“I was like are you for real? Chemical agents?’" Summer said. "I was shocked.”
So was the homeowner, apparently. He did not want to go on camera, but told Fox 12 he had no idea he was sharing his home with a wanted felon. He said he met Bacon through a website that connects landlords and tenants, but he decided to skip the background check. He said he wasn’t home during the raid, but now is left cleaning up thousands of dollars of damage from broken windows and tear gas powder throughout his home.
“It is an absolute nightmare,” he said.
Salem police, which led the drug investigation with the help of Portland Police, Keizer Police, the FBI and the Western Interagency Narcotics Team, said 1lbs. of heroin and several guns were seized from the home.
Police said Bacon bought the drugs from the other dealers that were arrested in Salem and was distributing them in Portland.
In Salem, police seized another 9 lbs. of heroin, 14 lbs. of meth and 2 lbs. of cocaine.
A spokesman said the drugs came from southern California and likely Mexico before that.
Six cars and more than $460,000 were also seized during the investigation.
The operation began just before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday with the near-simultaneous stops of three separate vehicles near Lancaster Drive and Beverly Avenue Northeast in Salem.
Following the vehicle stops, search warrants were served at six separate Salem locations. One warrant was also served in Beaverton and another in northeast Portland.
The seven people arrested were booked into the Marion County Jail. There were identified as Victor Palafox, 23; Vanessa Gonzalez, 22; Guillermo Palafox-Santos, 42; Elsa Garcia-Barrera, 47; Christopher McNaught, 37; Crystal Bingham, 36; David Bacon, 52.
Bacon, of Beaverton, is the only suspect not from Salem.
The Salem Police Department Street Crimes Unit was assisted by the Marion County District Attorney's Office, the Salem DEA office, the Western Interagency Narcotics Team and the Portland Police Bureau during the nearly two-month investigation.
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