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Fugitive attempted murder suspect captured in Madras

By U.S. marshals, SWAT Team; drugs, 14 guns found

MADRAS, Ore. - A Madras man wanted on attempted murder, kidnapping and numerous other charges in an assault earlier this year on a woman with whom he had two children was captured Wednesday afternoon by federal marshals and the Oregon State Police SWAT Team in the garage of a northwest Madras home. 

Omar Benitez. 37, wanted on four outstanding warrants, was found in the garage of the home, according to Lt. Nick Parker of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team. A woman in the home also was arrested on charges of hindering prosecution during the subsequent raid, which turned up commercial quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as 14 firearms.

A nationwide warrant had been issued for the arrest of Benitez, who made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon and is due back in court next Tuesday.

Here are the details of Wednesday's operation,  in a news release Thursday from the CODE Team representative:

In 2016, the CODE Team began assisting the FBI and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration with a large drug investigation occurring in the Madras and Redmond area. On September 27th of this year, 12 people were arrested as a result of that investigation.

The investigation also included the federal indictment of Omar Benitez. However, he was not located at that time.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office also had interest in locating Benitez. Their agency began an attempted murder and kidnapping investigation involving a firearm in August of 2017. Since then, an arrest warrant was obtained for him, but exhaustive efforts to locate him were unsuccessful.

In addition, there were two more warrants for the arrest of Benitez related to methamphetamine possession and felony assault.

During late November, the CODE Team received information that Benitez was frequenting the property at 196 NW Lee Street in Madras.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Oregon State Police SWAT team began surveillance of the residence. They were able to confirm Benitez had entered into a garage on the property.

Federal marshals and the OSP SWAT Team members surrounded the garage and challenged Benitez to surrender. Benitez came out and was arrested without incident at 1:55 pm. A female, Ruby Pacheco, 25, of Madras, also came out of the motor home and was detained.

The CODE Team also obtained a search warrant Wednesday for the address and executed the warrant around 6:45 p.m. Commercial quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine were seized, digital scales, packaging material, currency, and 14 firearms; seven handguns and seven rifles.

Benitez is a convicted felon and unable to legally possess a firearm. In addition, one of the firearms was reported stolen in Deschutes County. The below charges include those resulting from the search warrant execution.

Pacheco was aware Benitez was wanted and hindered his apprehension. Benitez and Pacheco were both lodged at the Jefferson County Jail.

Charges:

Omar Benitez:

1. Federal Arrest Warrant for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine
2. Jefferson County Circuit Court Arrest Warrant for Kidnap I, Robbery I, Unlawful Use
of Weapon, etc.
3. Jefferson County Circuit Court Arrest Warrant for Assault IV, Menacing, Recklessly
Endangering Another, and Harassment
4. Jefferson County Circuit Court Arrest Warrant for Possession of Methamphetamine
5. Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine 475.894 (felony)
6. Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetamine
7. Unlawful Delivery of Methamphetamine 475.890
8. Unlawful Possession of Cocaine 475.884
9. Unlawful Manufacture of Cocaine 475.886
10. Unlawful Delivery of Cocaine 475.880
11. Felon in Possession of a Firearm (14 counts) 166.270
12. Theft I by receiving (stolen firearm) 164.055

Ruby Pacheco:

1. Hindering Prosecution 162.325

The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) team is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force supported by the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program and the following Central Oregon law enforcement agencies: Bend Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Redmond Police Department, Prineville Police Department, Crook County Sheriff's Office, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Madras Police Department, Oregon State Police, Sunriver Police Department, Black Butte Police Department, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Warm Springs Tribal Police Department, Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson County District Attorneys, and the Oregon National Guard.

The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement task forces to disrupt or dismantle local, multi-state and international drug trafficking organizations.


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