PENDLETON - The Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team had its hands full Monday morning with two methamphetamine busts in Pendleton, one of them a lab.
At around 5 a.m. Monday, members of BENT and the Pendleton Critical Incident Response Team served a search warrant at 820 S.W. Seventh St. The warrant stemmed from a month-long investigation by the two task forces after numerous complaints of drug trafficking at the residence.
BENT and CIRT found Billy Cole Tucker, 41, and Amber Lee Been, 21, in the house, along with more than four ounces of meth, less than one ounce of marijuana and $2,210 in cash, which detectives seized.
Tucker and Been were arrested and lodged at the Umatilla County Jail on accusations of possession of a controlled substance (meth), possession of a controlled substance for less than one ounce of marijuana and maintaining a place where drugs are kept.
The second bust occurred just two hours later, when an employee at Blue Mountain Express on the 4400 block of Westgate contacted Pendleton Police at about 7:15 a.m. with a report of two men standing outside the station carrying a box and a duffel bag that had a "strange odor."
Officers responded and contacted BENT after finding Nathaniel Caswell, 35, of 400 East Elm in Hermiston, and Russell Whitbeck, 44, of 2410 N.W. Carden Ave., No. 13, in Pendleton, in possession of a meth lab and drug paraphernalia. They were not, however, in possession of drugs.
Caswell and Whitbeck were arrested and lodged at the Umatilla County Jail on accusations of possession of a precursor substance, possession of anhydrous ammonia and manufacture of a controlled substance (schedule II).