Three arrested in heroin busts

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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Police arrested three men and seized about $16,000 worth of heroin during two separate drug buys Tuesday afternoon in Vancouver.

The first buy occurred in the 9500 block of Southeast French Road, in the Ellsworth neighborhood, around 4:30 p.m., authorities said. Antonio Barrera-Marquez, 32, of Portland was arrested by detectives with the Clark-Vancouver Regional Drug Task Force after allegedly selling heroin. He was booked into the Clark County Jail on suspicion of delivering a controlled substance.

The second buy happened about 90 minutes later on Northeast 132nd Avenue near Northeast 31st Street in east Vancouver’s Image neighborhood. Jose A. Rodriguez-Armenta, 27, of Vancouver and Edilberto Alvarez-Ruiz, 25, of Mount Vernon were arrested by task force detectives after selling heroin. They were also booked into jail for suspected delivery of a controlled substance.

In total, the task force seized 1 pound of heroin.

“I think this is just more evidence of the upward trend in heroin abuse in Clark County,” said task force Cmdr. Mike Cooke.