The man drug enforcement officers believe responsible for transporting the largest cache of illegal drugs ever seized in Oregon pleaded not guilty in federal court Feb. 13. Salvador Martinez-Perez, 53, East Wenatchee, Wash., appeared before U.S. Magistrate Dennis J. Hubel on four charges of conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.
About 190 pounds of methamphetamine, 7.5 kilograms of cocaine and 11 pounds of heroin were seized Jan. 17 after Sherman County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a tractor-trailer rollover on Highway 97 in Sherman County.
Deputies at the scene identified Martin-Perez as the driver, transporting fresh produce. He was not injured and was released from the scene.
The following day, a private tow company was dispatched to the accident scene. While tow company employees were unloading the inside of the cargo bed, two bundles of narcotics fell from the produce pallets. Sherman County officers responded and found the large drug cash.
Martinez-Perez remains in federal custody pending an April 22 trial date.
The case is now under Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) jurisdiction. Oregon State Police also investigated.
The DEA investigator would not offer further comment