Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Feb. 7, 2023

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Vancouver man charged in federal fentanyl investigation

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:
3 Photos
Investigators say they served a search warrant on Joshua Clay Wilfong's storage unit in Vancouver and found a pill press and laboratory equipment covered in suspected fentanyl powder, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. (Photo contributed by the U.S.
Investigators say they served a search warrant on Joshua Clay Wilfong's storage unit in Vancouver and found a pill press and laboratory equipment covered in suspected fentanyl powder, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. (Photo contributed by the U.S. Attorney's Office) Photo Gallery

A Vancouver man and a co-defendant are facing federal charges for allegedly running a local drug trafficking ring responsible for making and distributing hundreds of thousands of counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl.

Joshua Clay Wilfong, 50, and James Dunn Jr., 61, of Milwaukie, Ore., were charged Thursday by criminal complaint with conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

Both were arrested Wednesday while allegedly negotiating the sale of more than 300,000 fentanyl pills. Investigators later learned Wilfong and Dunn regularly sold hundreds of thousands of fentanyl pills in single transactions, and they sold an average of 10,000 pills a week, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In May 2021, law enforcement from Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force in Oregon and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the drug trafficking ring in the Portland metro area.

The investigation found that Dunn purchased fentanyl in Mexico and smuggled it into the U.S. for use as an active ingredient in counterfeit prescription pills, the news release states, citing court records.

Prosecutors say Dunn gave the fentanyl to Wilfong, who would produce the pills in a makeshift laboratory inside a storage unit in Vancouver. Investigators served a search warrant on Wilfong’s storage unit and found a pill press and laboratory equipment covered in suspected fentanyl powder, according to the news release.

Wilfong and Dunn appeared in federal court Thursday and were ordered detained.

Help is available

If you or someone you know suffers from addiction, call the Lines for Life substance abuse helpline at 1-800-923-4357 or visit www.linesforlife.org. Phone support is available 24/7. You can also text “RecoveryNow” to 839863 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.

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