Major Internet Drug and Fraud Ring in Washington County | 101 KXL

Major Internet Drug and Fraud Ring in Washington County

Written by Brett Reckamp on December 20, 2013
Fake ID man

Washington County Sheriff’s Detectives are looking for the man who’s picture appears on all these driver’s licenses.   It’s part of a long and involved investigation.  Below is the press release that was sent out Friday evening.

December 20, 2013–Washington County Sheriff’s Detectives are seeking citizen’s assistance to identify a man whose photo appears on a fake driver’s license. This is part of a much larger investigation involving international internet drug sales.

This press release is additional information to supplement the information release the Department of Justice sent out December 18, 2013.

In December of 2012, Washington County Detectives opened an investigation into a group of individuals that were suspected of selling stolen property and drugs. This was a long detailed investigation that was very tedious and time consuming. This investigation also included eight local search warrants being served.

In March 2013, evidence was seized during a search warrant in Aloha indicating this was an organized group committing forgery, identity theft, money laundering, and drug trafficking utilizing a hidden internet website. Detectives believe the group was using the stolen identifications to avoid detection as they committed their illegal activities.

On December 17, 2013, at 4:00 a.m., Washington County Sheriff’s Detectives, the Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team (TNT), Portland Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT), Westside Interagency Narcotics team (WIN), and Beaverton Police Detectives served three simultaneous search warrants in the Aloha area. The locations of the search warrants were:
* 2545 SW 175th Avenue, Aloha
* 16856 SW Naples Court, Aloha
* 13765 SW Linda Lane, Aloha

Four hours later, Washington County Detectives, Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), US Postal Service (USPS), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Department of Justice (DOJ), Secret Service, and Clark County Sheriff’s Office served four search warrants simultaneously in Vancouver, Washington.

Seven people were arrested and more arrests are anticipated as the investigation continues. There was methamphetamine, computers, and a vast amount of additional evidence seized during the warrants.

The five people arrested in Washington County are:
Richard Webster, 45, Tina Heagle, 46, and Donald Bechen, 39. These four individual’s charges include Distribution of a Controlled Substance, Forgery, and Identity Theft. There are local and federal charges pending prosecution.

Lesa Jump, 63, was arrested for Possession and Distribution of Methamphetamine. Robbie Shelton, 44, was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and for violating his probation. They are not believed to be connected to the internet drug sales group.

Two additional people were arrested in Clark County as part of the organization.
The investigation led detectives to believe that over the course of the last two years:
* Over 17 Pounds of methamphetamine and more than $600,000 in US currency changed hands using the internet to facilitate the drug sales.
* The suspects operated in Washington County Oregon, Clark County Washington, and the Montana State.
* The group smuggled methamphetamine to and cash from Australia, Canada, England, United Kingdom, and other countries using “The Silk Road”, which is a hidden black market website.
* The identities of unsuspecting citizens were assumed by the group to launder money received from the distribution of methamphetamine. Investigators discovered 108 pieces of forged items using stolen identities associated with the group (See attachment for a sample of forged IDs in different phases).
* Investigators seized $87,000 in electronic “Bitcoins,” which is currency used on “The Silk Road” website to buy and sell illegal and stolen items. The Bitcoins would be traded for cash which would then be moved through bank accounts using stolen identities to conceal the drug profits. Four homes in Washington State were seized as part of this operation.

Attempt to Identify Person in Photo
Washington County Sheriff’s Detectives, in coordination with the other law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation, were able to arrest Jason Weld Hagen (aka: Hammertime) in Vancouver, Washington. Investigators believe Mr. Hagen was the largest methamphetamine distributor on “The Silk Road.”

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office expresses gratitude to all of the federal and local law enforcement partners that have helped to make this operation successful in combating the use of methamphetamine and the crimes associated with it.

Sheriff’s Detectives are seeking the public’s help regarding information concerning this case. If you have any information, please call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at (503) 846-2500.

Posted Under: Local Headlines, Today's Top Stories
About Brett Reckamp

FM News 101 KXL Anchor / Reporter

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