Prescription drugs found in police raid

By Kelly Ducote, The Observer November 13, 2013 11:28 am

Sheriff’s officials say a seizure during a raid last week on an Island City home primarily consisted of prescription narcotics.

Joshua Ryan Alvarez, 21, of Island City, was arrested Thursday afternoon at his residence at 10100 S. Sterling St. in Island City on charges of possession of a controlled substance, distribution of a controlled substance and manufacture of a controlled substance.

“The bulk of the seizure consisted of oxycodone,” said Capt. Craig Ward of the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

Ward said last week that the arrest was made to intercept and interrupt drug trafficking.

Tuesday Ward said that abuse of prescription narcotics is getting worse.

“It’s a growing problem nationally and locally,” he said.

Ward said up until recently those drugs were relatively easy to get. Oregon has implemented more stringent prescription monitoring measures, including one that requires some prescriptions, like for painkillers, to be delivered by hand to pharmacies. 

The arrest last week in Island City was a result of about a year-long investigation, Capt. Ward said. Agencies involved included the Union-Wallowa Drug Task  Force, Oregon State Police, Union County Sheriff’s Office and La Grande Police Department.

Alvarez is set to appear in Union County Circuit Court at 9 a.m. Nov. 26.