Drug team scores heroin, cash

MEDFORD — Police seized more than a pound of heroin and $18,900 in suspected drug proceeds Tuesday from a house on North Peach Street.

Officers with the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE) team conducted a controlled drug buy at 1:30 p.m. at the home in the 200 block of North Peach Street, Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen said in a news release.

Officers then went into the home of Margarito Salvador-Rojo and Emilio Gimenez-Villanueva and seized a pound-and-a-half of heroin and approximately $18,900 in cash, Hansen said.

The heroin carries a street value of nearly $80,000, Hansen said.

Salvador-Rojo was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on charges of manufacture of heroin, delivery of heroin and possession of heroin within 1,000 feet of a school. In addition, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents charged him with suspicion of being in the country illegally. He remained lodged late Tuesday without bail.

Gimenez-Villanueva, 33, was charged with possession of heroin within 1,000 feet of a school. He too was charged by ICE with suspicion of being in the country illegally and held in jail without bail.

"We put a dent in the heroin market in Medford last year, but there is a market for it and it keeps coming back," Medford police Deputy Chief Tim George said.

George was referring to a countywide operation that netted 23 alleged heroin traffickers in November.

"What we see is people get addicted to opiate pain medications and then resort to using heroin when they can't get the prescriptions legally," George said. "It remains a powerful, highly addictive drug that we continue to see on the street."

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