Leader of local meth ring sentenced to 15 years in prison

The head of a local crime family was sentenced to 15 years in prison for selling methamphetamine throughout the Rogue Valley.

Victor Valencia of Ashland managed a group that moved pounds of methamphetamine from California to Medford from 2002 through 2010, federal court records show.

Federal agents determined that Valencia also used family members and friends to distribute cocaine and marijuana.

The large-scale investigation involved wiretaps and controlled drug buys. In all, undercover agents bought close to 32 pounds of methamphetamine from Valencia, court documents said.

During two undercover buys, Valencia sold 50 grams of meth, the documents said.

In October 2010, Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement team officers served a handful of search warrants at homes in Medford, Ashland and Central Point after arresting Valencia a few days before at the Target parking lot on Crater Lake Highway.

Valencia allegedly was in possession of 4 ounces of methamphetamine at the time of his arrest.

The warrants turned up methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, cash, scales, drug paraphernalia and seven firearms, including a short-barrel shotgun, police said.

Valencia's co-conspirators also have been sentenced to federal prison.

Alex Valencia, 26, received nearly 12 years, Tina Brown, 26, received 10 years and Rocky Allen Bass, 47, received five years.

Medford police Deputy Chief Tim Doney said law enforcement took great effort to break up Valencia's enterprise.

"These people moved a lot of dope in this area," Doney said.

Along with the drugs, Valencia had an interest in firearms. Several weapons, including two AK-47s, several .22-caliber rifles, a .45 handgun and a 12-gauge shotgun, were found in Valencia's home.

The Valencia family is well-known to Medford police, who believe it has been a big-time player in the local methamphetamine market for several years.

"They have been on our radar for a long time," Doney said. "This is a great conclusion to have (Valencia) go to prison for a long time."

Doney said the Valencias have ties to the Norteños gang. The Norteños are a Hispanic street gang that formed in Northern California.

"They were using contacts in California to move the meth up to Medford," Doney said.

Senior U.S. District Judge Owen Panner enhanced Valencia's sentence because of his managerial role in the organization. He also sentenced Valencia to five years' post-prison supervision.

Valencia and Brown have a young child together. The child is now in the custody of the Department of Human Services, court records show.

Valencia can shave time off his prison sentence for good behavior, but he will serve the bulk of the next 15 years behind bars, Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Harper said.

"They can earn some time for good behavior, but it won't be a lot," Harper said.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or by email at cconrad@mailtribune.com.

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