Two brothers were arrested during an undercover drug operation at the Amtrak train station in downtown.
On Tuesday, officers assigned to the Drugs and Vice Division were working a mission at 800 Northwest 6th Avenue, according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Deputy District Attorney Shawn Overstreet.
According to the prosecutor: the officers were dressed in plain clothes and asking people waiting to board a train for consent so a drug dog could sniff their bags.
As the officers neared the end of the line, Jonathan and Justin Williams quickly left and walked away, court documents state.
The two men are brothers.
Officers Scott Groshong and Chris Devlin approached the men and identified themselves as police. The officers asked Jonathan Williams if the drug dog could sniff the bags in their possession, court documents state.
Jonathan Williams complied and the dog indicated a positive alert for the presence of drugs, court documents state. That gave the officers probable cause to search the bag. When they searched Jonathan Williams’ bag, they located several vacuum sealed bags with a substance officers recognized as marijuana, court documents state.
Police asked Jonathan Williams to search the other bags in their possession where more sealed bags were found, court documents state.
Jonathan Williams was arrested and later told police that his brother “put me up to it,” court documents state. Jonathan Williams then changed his story and said it was a friend that “put me up to this,” court documents state.
Police later learned that the brothers were transporting the marijuana to Minnesota and they would get paid for it, records show.
Jonathan Williams told police that he believed he had about 20 pounds of marijuana with him. He consented to a search of his cell phone which revealed several text messages indicated that he was trafficking marijuana, officials said.
Justin Williams was arrested and told police that he was just dropping his brother off at the station and didn’t know that he had the drugs, court records show.
Officers searched Justin Williams’ cell phone and found several text messages to a contact known as “Michelle,” that detailed a marijuana operation including prices, locations, dates as well as plans for setting up a marijuana business in Portland, court documents state.
The total weight of the marijuana seized was 9,769.3 grams, or 21 pounds, Overstreet said.
Neither Justin nor Jonathan Williams provided a local address in Portland. Investigators believe that both live in Minnesota, Overstreet said.
Other text messages found on the phones indicate that both brothers travel extensively and didn’t have plans to stay in Portland.
The two brothers have been charged with one count each of unlawful manufacture of marijuana, unlawful possession of more than four ounces of marijuana and unlawful delivery of marijuana.
A court appointed defense attorney entered a not guilty plea on behalf of both men.
They are scheduled to be in court later this month.
Jonathan Williams has been released from jail on his own recognizance.
Justin Williams remains in custody at the Multnomah County Inverness Jail.