Drug Dealer Sentenced to 120 Months in Prison
PORTLAND, Ore. – Tyson Gregory Fortner, 36, of Portland, Oregon, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez to 120 months in prison following his federal conviction for possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. When the defendant is released from prison, he will serve five years of supervised release.
On June 26, 2013, investigators from the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force received information from a confidential informant (CI) that the defendant was a methamphetamine dealer operating in the Portland, Oregon area. Surveillance teams set up on the defendant’s residence in Portland, Oregon and, after he was observed driving away from the residence, they conducted a traffic stop on his car. The defendant was found to be driving without a license. A subsequent search of the defendant’s car found 89 grams of methamphetamine, 38 grams of heroin, a digital scale, and $8,100 in cash. When the officers searched the defendant they found a drug record ledger and $655 in cash. A subsequent search of the defendant’s residence resulted in the discovery of an additional 572 grams of methamphetamine, 123 grams of heroin, 4 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 14 grams of cocaine, drug packaging material, a digital scale, a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun, a .45 caliber Colt handgun, brass knuckles, and $49,850 in cash. The officers’ investigation revealed that the defendant possessed the drugs with the intent to distribute them and that over the previous eight months he had conservatively distributed at least 84 kilograms of methamphetamine and 567 grams of heroin. The defendant was arrested and indicted on federal charges on July 9, 2013.
“Methamphetamine has been identified as the region’s most serious drug threat, and heroin is a close second,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Billy Williams. “Our office will continue to work with law enforcement to prosecute these significant drug dealers who are spreading destruction throughout the community for their own personal profit.”
According to the Oregon High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program:
Methamphetamine in the form of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” continues to be readily available and widely used throughout the Oregon HIDTA and represents the region’s most serious drug threat. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive central nervous system stimulant that is abused for its euphoric and stimulant effects. Chronic methamphetamine abusers exhibit violent behavior, confusion, insomnia and psychotic characteristics such as hallucinations and paranoia. Methamphetamine-related crime, such as identity theft, abused and neglected children, and other serious person and property crimes, continues to occur at a palpable rate and is prevalent throughout the HIDTA region.
Oregon and Idaho law enforcement officers surveyed in 2015 indicated methamphetamine remains a significant threat due to its level of use and availability; nexus to other crimes such as violent activity and property crime; societal impact; and connection to drug trafficking organizations, primarily MNDTOs [multi-national drug trafficking organizations]. Of law enforcement agencies surveyed, 62 percent reported methamphetamine as the greatest Oregon HIDTA Program drug threat to their area, with the majority indicating methamphetamine as the drug that contributes most to violent crime (88%) and property crime (69%). Furthermore, over 60 percent of officers ranked methamphetamine as the drug that serves as the primary funding source for major criminal activity.
Threat Assessment and Counter-Drug Strategy, Program Year 2016, Oregon HIDTA Program, at 12-13 (June 2015).
The HIDTA report also noted that “heroin availability and its use has reached a critical level and represents a close second to methamphetamine as the region’s most serious drug threat” and that “[n]early a quarter (24%) of law enforcement officers surveyed in Oregon and Idaho in 2015 indicated that heroin was the principal threat to their area due to the substantial rise in availability and the increase in the number of new and younger users and associated overdoses.” Id. at 20.
This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) joint investigation involving the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the Portland Police Bureau and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Scott Kerin.