Rep. Helfrich blasts release of suspected drug kingpin

Helfrich Blasts Multnomah Prosecutors for Letting Suspected Drug Kingpin Free
By Oregon House GOP Leader,

SALEM, Ore. – House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich (R-Hood River) released a blistering statement after Multnomah County prosecutors allowed suspected drug kingpin Luis Funez to walk out of jail and into the wind.

The Willamette Week reported that Funez had been caught selling drugs in an open-air drug market in Portland in January. Weeks later, he was caught again with 100 fentanyl tablets during a traffic stop. He was booked on 10 felonies and allowed to leave jail.

In December, law enforcement raided an Airbnb rented by Funez that held 52 pounds of fentanyl, or 11 million doses. Again, Funez was allowed to walk free from jail, and he skipped his court appearance.

“A suspected drug dealer – caught selling drugs in an open-air drug market and later caught again in possession of 11 million doses of fentanyl – is walking free today because of the outrageous detention practices of the Multnomah County district attorney’s office. There seems to be no will whatsoever in the prosecutor’s office to keep drugs and the criminals who traffic them off the streets. Releasing drug dealers, vilifying law enforcement, and coddling criminals is a recipe for continued decline. It is clear to me that the district attorney’s priorities lie with appeasing radical, soft-on-crime special interest groups, not with public safety. The people deserve better,” said Helfrich.

Synthetic opioid overdoses have spiked in recent years, according to the National Institute of Health. In 2021, more than 106,000 people in the United States died from drug overdoses with fentanyl being the leading cause of such deaths. The Centers for Disease Control found that Oregon had the highest rate of increase, 67 percent, in fentanyl poisoning fatalities and drug overdoses in 2023 compared to the previous year.