Lorena Madrigal Barraza, a deputy clerk for the Hermiston Municipal Court, was among the 35 people arrested in last week’s drug sweep conducted by the Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team.

BENT officials Monday released a list of 45 people who were either arrested, have charges pending, were interviewed or are still at large. The Aug. 2 sweep was carried out by approximately 110 representatives of federal, state and local agencies, and approximately $400,000 in drugs and 21 guns were seized.

Lorena Barraza and Cesar Barraza-Macias were arrested after authorities found 69 mature marijuana plants, 95 starter plants, 20 pounds of processed marijuana and a .45-caliber handgun in their home at 364 N.E. Grouse Court.

Hermiston Municipal Judge Thomas Creasing on Monday said he became aware of the arrest Thursday when Barraza did not report for work.

“As a judge, I have to believe that an arrest is not proof of guilt,” Creasing said. “Innocent until proven guilty is the cornerstone of the American justice system, and I would hope people would not want a judge who views the system in any other way.”

According to the City of Hermiston, Barraza began as a part-time employee in February 2006. Since May 2010, she has been working as many as 32 hours per week.

A statement from the city said: “Lorena Barraza, a deputy clerk who performs general clerical duties for the municipal court, has been placed on administrative leave at the advice of our labor attorney. She will remain on leave pending further investigation.”

In an email later Monday, Creasing wrote, “In regard to allegations that there has been ‘ticket fixing’ at the court (an accusation many courts get), there have indeed been a number of requests over the years by Hermiston officers for me to check and follow up on various citations that were issued, either to make sure that the citation was in the system or that there was a just resolution. In every instance, the defendant was found to have been duly entered, and properly processed within normal court operating procedures.”

Thursday’s arrests stretched from Ukiah to Boardman to Richland, Wash. Of the 35 addresses visited by law enforcement, 13 were in Hermiston and nine in Pendleton. Warrants were also executed in Umatilla (seven), Stanfield (two) and Richland, La Grande, Ukiah and Boardman (one each).

Of the 45 names on the list, 35 were arrested and three are still at large. Charges are still pending against three others, two were interviewed and released, one was contacted but there was no warrant in the system and one juvenile was cited and released.

Below are the names of those connected to Thursday's sweep:

• 2455 Blue Jay St., Umatilla

Francisco Garcia-Soto (Arrested)

Seized four marijuana plants, two grams of marijuana

• 1830 SW 11st St., Hermiston OR

Colt Winslow Heard (Arrested)

Sagrario Cortez (Arrested)

Seized six pounds, seven ounces meth (Heard), half ounce heroin, one ounce cut, packaging materials, scales, approximately 200 prescription pills and $650 U.S. currency

• 364 NE Grouse Ct, Hermiston

Cesar Barraza-Macias (Arrested)

Lorena Barraza (Arrested)

Seized 69 mature marijuana plants, 95 starter plant, 20 pounds of processed marijuana and a .45 handgun

• 2645 Sandpiper Loop, Richland, Wash.

Lamberto Chairez-Soto (Arrested)

Seized 3 marijuana plants, one pound of processed marijuana, 5 rifles, 5 handguns and two vehicles

• 103 Klickitat Rd Apt A-2, Umatilla

Benito Ramirez (Arrested)

Seized one antique firearm, four handguns, three rifles SKS (one with scratched-off serial number), one shotgun and one homemade silencer for a .22 caliber handgun

• 80519 Cowboy Lane, Hermiston

Jeffrey Austin (Arrested)

Robert Walker Millhaem (Arrested - unrelated outstanding warrant)

Seized one gram of meth and 20 prescription pills

• 955 W Hermiston Ave #5, Hermiston

Faith Riggs (Arrested)

18 prescription pills, one gram of meth, one meth pipe and one-eighth oz cut

• 910 SW 10th St., Hermiston

Melinda Bell (Arrested)

Juvenile (cited and released for possession less than ounce of marijuana )

Seized 100 prescription pills, one gram of marijuana

• 217 SW 7th St., Pendleton

Deleta Cullen (Arrested)

Marry McMurphy (Arrested on unrelated arrest warrant and possession of meth and Oxycontin)

Seized one ounce of meth, 80 prescription pills

• 46544 Adams Road, Pendleton

Rodney Tate (Arrested)

one-half gram of meth

• 804 SW 5th St., Pendleton

Timothy Torgerson (Arrested)

Seized one handgun, two rifles, one gram of meth

• 465 S. Glending, Standfield,

Joseph Corliss (Still at large)

Search not conducted

• 137 Patterson St. Apt A, Umatilla Landon Schab (Arrested)

Jennifer Burt (Arrested)

Seized 400 prescription pills, two grams of marijuana

• 921 Eighth St., Umatilla

Fidel Torres Sr. (Arrested)

• 270 Raymond St. Apt. A, Umatilla

Kaisha Williams (Arrested)

• 2010 Cove Ave., La Grande

Troy McDonald (Arrested)

Seized two grams of meth and one gram of marijuana

• 314 Main St., Ukiah

Charles Jones (Arrested)

Jennifer Jones (Arrested)

Seized 16 mature marijuana plants, 13 starter plants, meth pipe, 50 prescription pills and one gun

• 716 E. Ridgeway Ave., Hermiston

Suzun Patterson (Charges pending)

Search not conducted

• 510 W Moore Ave., Hermiston

Marcus Nelson (Arrested)

No search conducted as he was interviewed at OSP Office

• 245 ½ SW Eighth Place, Hermiston

Eva Fernandez (Arrested)

Seized one gram of meth

• 217 SE 16th St., Pendleton

Rueben Walker (contacted but warrant not in system, so US Marshals did not arrest)

• 4247 SW Broadlane Ave., Pendleton

James Daniel Clark (Arrested)

Seized one-eighth ounce of marijuana

• 9 Rio Senda St., Umatilla

Eric Wickstrom (still at large)

• 32774 Robinson Lane, Hermiston

Joseph Robinson (Still at large)

•725 W Ridgeway Ave. #10, Hermiston

Kaylee Hayden (Arrested)

• 1074 W Orchard Ave #B12, Hermiston Naomi Martinez (Arrested)

• 471 Bridge Port, Umatilla

Rebecca Sager (Arrested)

• Property next door to Heard

Derrick Dix (Arrested)

• 31140 Shelly Lane, Hermiston Jessica Payton (Arrested)

20 prescription pills

• 514 SW 13th St., Pendleton

Walter Clark (Arrested)

• 1003 SW Goodwin Pl, Pendleton

Jerry Raines (Interviewed)

• 447 SW 5th St., Space 5, Pendleton Shanna Hewitt (Interviewed)

628 SW 5th St., Pendleton (12-252340)

Cedric Page (Arrested)

Nicole Sloan (Arrested)

• 205 Heather Dr, Stanfield

Josie Gates (Pending)

Lora Jones (Arrested)

Seized 20 prescription pills

• 78576 Parkside Road, Boardman

Jorge Hernandez-Urena (Arrested)

• Additional unrelated custodies found at various locations during takedown:

Failure to appear arrest warrants, Anthony Sandavol FTAx2

FTA Warrants, Heyde Sandavol FTA FTA PCS-Cocaine Warrant- James Branch

Hermiston Municipal Court warrant, DHS called and children removed – Tasha McLeod


Editor's note: Court records show Dale Mininger, who was originally listed as a pending arrest in this case, was not arrested or charged with any crimes related to it.

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