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Federal and local officers arrest suspects following months-long narcotics investigation

COURTESY PHOTO: LANE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Rafael Ceballos-CastilloCOURTESY PHOTO: MARION COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Rafael Ceballos Jr.COURTESY PHOTO: LANE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Jose Ceballos-CastilloThree Hubbard residents — a man and his two sons — have been arrested on accusations of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine after nearly 76 pounds of the drug were found in their residences in Marion County.

Rafael Ceballos-Castillo, 49, was arrested in Springfield on Oct. 2 and appeared in federal court later that day. He is held at the Lane County Jail.

His son, Rafael Ceballos Jr., 20, was charged by criminal complaint and is currently in custody in the Marion County Jail on an unrelated state warrant. He was arrested on Oct. 4 by Hubbard police for fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.

Rafael Ceballos Jr.'s brother, Jose Ceballos-Castillo, 28, was arrested on Oct. 6 and appeared on the criminal complaint in federal court. He is held at the Lane County Jail.

According to the criminal complaints, law enforcement began investigating Rafael Ceballos-Castillo and Jose Ceballos Jr. in July 2017, after identifying Rafael Ceballos-Castillo as a methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine source of supply.

All three men are currently in custody, pending detention hearings.

The three men were arrested and charged by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Linn County Inter-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Task Force.

Rafael Ceballos-Castillo was arrested in Springfield and was found to be in possession of over $50,000 in cash.

Later that day, a search warrant was executed at his residence in Hubbard and law enforcement seized approximately 57 pounds of methamphetamine, one kilogram (about 2.205 pounds) of cocaine, and a .45-caliber semi-automatic hand gun.

A second residence in Salem was also searched and law enforcement seized over 13 pounds of methamphetamine, over one pound of heroin and a loaded Smith & Wesson .357-caliber revolver and ammunition. To date, agents and officers have seized a combined total of over 76 pounds of methamphetamine, 2.5 pounds of cocaine, one pound of heroin, two handguns, drug paraphernalia and a money counter. COURTESY PHOTO: LINN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Seized drugs that led to the arrests of three Hubbard men.

"Working with our partners led to a significant seizure of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine being peddled by this organization within our state," said Cam Strahm, DEA assistant special agent in charge, in an Oct. 6 press release from the DEA's Seattle office. "It is the most recent example of our collective efforts to keep Oregonians safe from the insidious nature of drug trafficking and those organizations willing to prey on those battling addiction."

The investigation was led by the DEA and the LINE Task Force, with assistance from the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force, the FBI, the Salem Police Department's Street Crimes Unit, the Springfield Police Department and the Hubbard Police Department.

"These arrests and seizures are the result of a significant joint investigation by local and federal law enforcement to combat the destruction wrought by methamphetamine abuse in the Linn County community," said Billy J. Williams, United States attorney for the District of Oregon, in the press release. "We greatly appreciate the level of cooperation and law enforcement partnerships."

The LINE Task Force, which consists of investigators from the Albany, Lebanon, and Sweet Home police departments, the Linn County Sheriff's Office, the Oregon State Police, the Oregon National Guard Counter Drug Task Force and the DEA, was created after Linn County was designated a High Density Drug Trafficking Area in January 2016.

Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Huynh is prosecuting this case.

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