Two Men Given Federal Prison Sentences for Trafficking Drugs into Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore. – In separate criminal cases, two men have been sentenced to federal prison for trafficking illegal narcotics into Oregon for distribution in the Portland and Salem, Oregon metropolitan areas.
Marcial Aguirre, 55, was sentenced today to 135 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Aguirre previously pleaded guilty on March 19, 2018.
Christian Jensel Chaidez, 33, of Salem, was sentenced on September 4, 2018 to 120 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Chaidez previously pleaded guilty on May 31, 2018.
U.S. v. Marcial Aguirre
According to court documents, Aguirre led a drug trafficking organization responsible for shipping distribution quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine from California for sale in Oregon and Washington state. Aguirre employed three drug runners or “mules” that would transport drugs between states in hidden vehicle compartments. He directed the runners where to pick up the loaded vehicles and where to deliver them.
At times, Aguirre would drive ahead or follow the loads into Oregon and meet the runners at local convenience stores in Salem. He would exchange his vehicle with the runner’s vehicle and transfer the loads to various co-conspirators for delivery. Using intercepted wire calls, investigators began to piece together the organizational structure of Aguirre’s network, identifying his co-conspirators and runners.
On September 24, 2016, on a return trip to California, agents stopped the van Aguirre was traveling in, executed an arrest, and seized approximately $74,000 in cash. Over the course of a year-long investigation, investigators seized approximately $229,000 in cash, two vehicles, three firearms, more than one hundred pounds of methamphetamine, and ten pounds of cocaine.
U.S. v. Christian Jensel Chaidez
Chaidez was a local affiliate of a drug trafficking network responsible for importing methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and marijuana from Los Angeles to Salem. Using intercepted wire calls, investigators learned that a co-defendant would provide Chaidez with quantities of heroin that Chaidez would, in turn, sell in and around Salem. In November and December 2016 investigators used an undercover informant to purchase one half pound of methamphetamine from Chaidez on two different occasions.
By June 2017, when federal prosecutors unsealed a 12-person indictment, the network, which began primarily as a methamphetamine and cocaine distribution organization, was rapidly expanding into the heroin market. The arrests of Chaidez and others have significantly disrupted the distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine, and other narcotics in the Salem area.
Both cases were investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and prosecuted by Kemp L. Strickland, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.