MINT busts family for coke, meth

Officials take 3- and 11-year-old into custody

News staff writer

December 14, 2005

A Mid-Valley family has been stopped from selling “snow” during the holiday season.

The Mid-Columbia Interagency Narcotics Taskforce (MINT) seized a sizeable cache of cocaine and methamphetamine from a Fir Mountain residence on Saturday.

Livier Navarro, 29, was arrested at the scene for trafficking in illegal drugs. Her husband, Rosario Gordian Cruz, 30, has been in jail since Sept. 30. He was allegedly caught in an undercover MINT sting with his father, Ascencio Solis Gordian, 56.

On Dec. 10, Cruz’s mother, Maria Cruz Palacios, 50, joined her family members behind bars. She was arrested at the couple’s Thomsen Road residence during the same investigation that led MINT to Navarro.

“Even though we had already caught the two men, their wives apparently just kept the family business going,” said Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler.

The three children of Navarro and Cruz – a newborn, a 3-year-old, and an 11-year-old – have been taken into protective custody by the Department of Human Services. According to reports, the oldest boy was aware of drug activity in the family home.

“If it weren’t for us intervening, these kids would have had a ‘white’ Christmas in more ways than one,” said a MINT spokesperson.

Wampler said a total of 13 ounces in coke and meth was seized during the search of Navarro’s home. He said the drugs would sell on the street for between $40-$50 per gram. That would have brought the Gordian/Cruz family a net gain of about $17,192.

“In the dope world this is real pure stuff; this isn’t junk we’re dealing with,” said a MINT member while weighing and packaging the evidence.

He said the high-grade meth was most likely manufactured in the “super labs” of California or Mexico. And once the supply was diluted down with acetone or baking soda it would bring an even greater monetary return.

Wampler said the arrests of Navarro and Gordian followed a traffic stop earlier on Saturday morning. Deputy Matt English pulled Edgar Munoz Haro, 25, of Hood River over at the intersection of Rand Road and May Street for erratic driving. He was then advised by dispatchers that Haro, who was on probation for a prior drug conviction, was operating the vehicle with a suspended license.

At that point, English was granted permission by Haro to search the car. He discovered both meth and drug paraphernalia hidden inside.

Haro’s probation officer then gave MINT members permission, as allowed by the court, to search the residence that he shared with Navarro and Cruz. And that was where MINT recovered the larger stash of narcotics.

“This is just an unacceptable practice for anyone, but even more for a family with young children,” said Wampler. “If it were up to us all four adults would be spending Christmas in jail.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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