CODE Team makes 3 arrests after months-long drug trafficking investigation

The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team arrested three people and seized nearly 40 pounds of meth and heroin during a Sunriver drug bust earlier this month.

Lt. Ken Mannix said the CODE team had spent the last several months investigating a large-scale drug trafficking organization that was bringing commercial quantities of meth and heroin into Central Oregon, across the state and beyond.

The investigation revealed 37-year-old Krista Vela of Bend had been making frequent trips out of the area – including to Mexico – where she would acquire large quantities of meth and heroin and then return to Deschutes County where she would sell the drugs, Mannix said.

Vela had a network of people who were assigned different roles in the organization.

Evidence obtained during the investigation revealed a complex organization with a defined command and control structure that was heavily involved in both the transportation and distribution of large quantities of narcotics.

Courtesy CODE Team

Mannix said Vela has previous arrests by the CODE team for trafficking in commercial quantities of narcotics and was charged in October by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Montana for having about 6 pounds of methamphetamine.

During the week of November 30th thru December 3rd, Detectives with CODE, along with the Bend Police Department, Redmond Police Department and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, monitored Vela’s daily activities after she returned from out of state.

Mannix said investigators were able to identify a number of associates, vehicles, locations and other evidence to support Vela’s continued and on-going criminal activity.

On December 3rd just before 2 a.m., detectives with the CODE team contacted 43-year-old Jeral Johns of Rainier and 25-year-old Stormy Wooldridge of Astoria in a parking lot located just outside the main lodge at Sunriver Resort.

Johns and Wooldridge had three pieces of luggage at this time and were loading it into a parked vehicle, Mannix said.

At the same time, 31-year-old Lonny Baker of Otis was contacted in a separate parking lot roughly one mile from the resort.

Baker was sitting in a vehicle at the time and acting as a ‘lookout’ for Johns and Wooldridge, Mannix said. All three were arrested.

Based on information gathered throughout this investigation, detectives with CODE applied for and were granted a search warrant to search different locations identified in this case as well as personal items, some of which included the above-mentioned luggage.

During a search of the luggage, detectives located and seized about 36 pounds of methamphetamine and about 6 pounds of heroin, US currency, scales, packaging material, and other evidence of the sales, manufacturing, and distribution of commercial quantities of methamphetamine and heroin.

Mannix said additional items seized from a separate vehicle search warrant executed on this same day, included a commercial quantity of methamphetamine, a concealed handgun, scales, packaging material, and other evidence of the sales, manufacturing, and distribution of methamphetamine.

Additionally, Vela’s 2017 Audi Q7 was seized.

Johns, Baker and Wooldridge were booked at the Deschutes County Adult Jail on multiple drug and weapon charges including possession and delivery of meth and heroin and felon in possession of a firearm.

Vela is currently wanted for her arrest.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact Deschutes County 911 Dispatch at 541-693-6911.

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