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MCMINNVILLE (AP) ? Drug cases against more than 40 people have been dropped because of the actions of an informant working for the Yamhill County Interagency Narcotics Team.
District Attorney Brad Berry said information published by the McMinnville News-Register led him to abandon the cases, which primarily involved the delivery of small amounts of marijuana.
He said the drug team was not privy to the information when it contracted with Marc Caven, 51, of Portland to help run a four-month sting.
The newspaper reported that Caven, better known as ?The Mole,? had a felony criminal record and a history of entrapment while working as an informant for several Oregon counties ? including the Hermiston Police Department ? during the 1980s.
In those cases, Caven enticed young people into acquiring small quantities of marijuana by offering a high-paying job in construction or landscaping. Those tactics led to the dismissal of at least 33 cases.
Caven used the same tactics during a Yamhill County sting operation that resulted in the 47 arrests in late June, according to the newspaper.
?Today, the Yamhill County district attorney is dismissing all cases based primarily on the involvement of informant Marc Caven,? Berry said in a press release issued Friday. ?This office will continue to pursue prosecution on approximately five cases that involve Mr. Caven tangentially or that involve the delivery of a large quantity of illegal drugs.?
Berry promised to review a handful of cases in which plea bargains were struck prior to the publication of information about Caven?s criminal past and deceptive tactics.
Sheriff Jack Crabtree, who serves on the policy board of the narcotics team, said he supports Berry?s decision.
?The fact is, knowing what we know now, I share the same concerns as the community,? Crabtree said. ?He never would have been used. Absolutely no way.?
Griff Healy, a Newberg lawyer representing three adults and a juvenile scooped up in the operation, has been told that two of his defendants are off the hook.
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