Portland, OR

Portland Daily Roundup: 12 arrested in drug trafficking ring, TriMet celebrates Transit Employee Appreciation Day

Emily Scarvie

(Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Friday, March 18 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Drug bust leads to arrests of 12 people, seizures of property

A drug bust has resulted in the arrests of 12 people and seizures of property across Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office – District of Oregon, investigators seized approximately 115,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl labeled “M/30,” 41 lbs. of methamphetamine and 57 lbs. of heroin.

According to court documents, the organization has been under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency since fall 2021. Investigators believe the organization’s leader, suspect Luis Antonio Beltran Arrendondo, was importing the counterfeit oxycodone and heroin from Mexico to California, then distributing it across the west coast.

Jacqueline Paola Rodriguez Barrientos, Arrendondo’s significant other and suspected accomplice, has been indicted as the operation’s chief money launderer. The two made their initial appearances in federal court on March 15. Both are in custody pending trial.

2. TriMet celebrates Transit Employee Appreciation Day

Friday is Transit Employee Appreciation Day, a day for thanking those working extended roles in the public transportation system, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the forefront the hard work and sacrifice of the people who make our public transportation system a safe, reliable option for traveling throughout the region,” TriMet General Manager Sam Desue Jr. told FOX 12. “At TriMet, our employees are so good – they make this hard work look easy. So, when you look around and see our community beginning to thrive as COVID-19 restrictions ease, take a moment to thank the thousands of transit employees who have worked so hard to get us here.”

When asked how to thank transportation workers, TriMet said kindness, things like a smile, nice words or a wave, can really brighten workers' days.

3. Woodburn's Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival opens this Friday

The 38th annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival opens in Woodburn on Friday through May 1. This year, all tickets must be purchased online and day passes will be sold in limited capacities. The festival will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every weekday, with longer hours on weekends.

Organizers say the best time to visit will likely be mid-April. To buy tickets or learn more, click here.

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