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La Pine couple jailed on fentanyl trafficking, weapons charges; car searches, house searches, pills, sawed-off shotgun

Plastic bag containing suspicious pills found in hidden compartment of car, drug officers say

La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A La Pine couple suspected of distributing fentanyl was arrested Wednesday during a traffic stop in La Pine and a plastic bag containing fentanyl pills was found in a hidden compartment, thanks to a drug-sniffing K-9, authorities said. A search of their home uncovered more pills and two firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun.

The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team, in conjunction with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and the Redmond Police Department, concluded a long-term investigation with the arrest of Armando Nieves Cintora , 37, and Jessica Grace Lee, 30, from Lt. Mike Landolt of Team CODE. said in a press release Thursday.

Officers stopped the couple's white 2013 Subaru BRZ sports car around 10 a.m. near the intersection of Burgess Road and Arctic Drive, with Nieves Cintora behind the wheel, Landolt said.

Redmond police brought in K-9 Sadie, who alerted to the presence of drug odors in the car. Landolt said CODE detectives requested and received a search warrant that found the plastic bag containing fentanyl pills in a hidden compartment. He declined to release more information about what was found there, but said Nieves Cintora had more packaging material in his wallet.

CODE drug agents then requested and obtained a search warrant for the couple's home in the 52000 block of River Birch in La Pine. The team and officers searched the home around 12:20 p.m. and found suspected fentanyl pills, packaging materials, a scale, cash, a rifle and a sawed-off shotgun.

Nieves Cintora and Lee were taken to the Bend County Jail on charges of possession, delivery/manufacture of drugs, as well as unlawful possession of a short-barreled rifle, Landolt said, adding that more charges could be filed in the framework of the current investigation.

Both suspects were arraigned Thursday afternoon on all three charges, according to court records, but a shortage of public defenders means neither has yet been given an attorney. They are expected to return to court in a week to see if lawyers have been assigned.

Landolt noted that the CODE team arrested Lee in August of last year on charges of possessing a large amount of fentanyl. That case is still ongoing and jail records show she is being held on $100,000 bond, while Nieves Cintora is being held on $50,000 bond.

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