Local government

Search warrant leads to arrest of Ontario man on multiple felony drug charges

Note: This story was updated with additional information from the Ontario Police Department.

ONTARIO – Police seized a large amount of methamphetamine, hundreds of fentanyl pills and firearms at a home in northwest Ontario early Wednesday, May 10.

Police arrested Lee Fortin Sr., 34, Ontario, after they served a search warrant at 389 N.W. 11th Ave., and charged him with felony possession, delivery and manufacture of methamphetamine, and felony possession, manufacture and delivery of fentanyl.

Fortin was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, May 11, in Malheur County Circuit Court.

Of 16 people found at the scene, five others also were arrested on warrants or new drug charges. According to the Ontario Police Department, those individuals and the charges are:

• Emanuel Gonzalez, 34, Nampa, on a felony Oregon Parole Board warrant, with sex crime and weapons charges pending.

• Francisco Eugenio Bethancorth, 35, unhoused out of Ontario, on a felony parole board warrant.

• Vanessa Michelle Laney, 21, unhoused out of Ontario, on two warrants for failure to appear on misdemeanor counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.

• Misty Marie Doig, 42, unhoused out of Ontario, on a misdemeanor contempt of court warrant.

• Brooke Ann Hoodie, 20, Ontario, on a misdemeanor larceny warrant.

The combined operation involved the High Desert Drug Task Force, Oregon State Police, the Ontario Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Police confiscated four pounds of methamphetamine, five ounces of fentanyl, and eight firearms along with more than $20,000 in cash.

The operation was spearheaded by the High Desert Drug Task Force, reformed in February to combat the growing use of illegal narcotics in Malheur County.

“This is what the task force will be doing until there is nothing left of this nature to do,” said Dave Goldthorpe, Malheur County district attorney.

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