The Union County Sheriff’s Office has two full-time Detectives assigned to the local drug task force, Union/Wallowa County Drug Task Force. This is a four Detective team consisting of the Union County Sheriff’s Office, a Detective from the Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office, and a La Grande Police Dept Detective – they investigate drug cases throughout Union and Wallowa Counties.
The Drug Task Force primarily investigates cases involving Methamphetamine and Marijuana, which seem to be the drug of choice for the local area. Methamphetamine use has soared in recent years due to the availability of precursor products, ease of production, and relatively low price as compared to other stimulant drugs such as cocaine. Methamphetamine is produced in a rather simple method that is readily available via the Internet. The products used can be obtained over the counter and hence make the investigation of the production of Methamphetmine difficult. However, the production of methamphetamine produces distinct odors that can be detected by adjacent landowners and neighbors, which when reported, can significantly assist in apprehending the methamphetamine cooks and seizing the lab.
The Drug Task Force acts upon anonymous tips and encourages citizens to provide information related to narcotics activity. Heavy activity (short in and out traffic) at residences can indicate drug transactions/dealings and should be reported to the Drug Task Force as soon as possible. These people will often appear and act nervous as they approach and conduct the drug transaction. Typically the transaction will not take place within neighbors’ eyesight, but at times drug dealers become brave and will conduct transactions in the open. These open, hand to hand transactions, are likewise valuable for the Drug Task Force to know from an investigation standpoint and can be the final link that finishes a case. The information can be held confidential so as to not jeopardize anyone’s safety. The Drug Task Force encourages and appreciates any and all narcotics tips and information.