A multi-agency investigation, dubbed Operation Rap It Up, is wrapping up its investigation involving more than 40 people, 31 of which have been indicted on state and federal drug and firearms charges. To date, 26 people have been arrested and seven search warrants have been served. Several suspects have ties and are documented gang members living in and/or frequenting the Jackson County area.
The investigation uncovered drug trafficking, prostitution, organized “Straw” purchasing of firearms, and violent gang activity in Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath Counties. It also uncovered strong criminal ties and activity to both California and Las Vegas. During the investigation, investigators thwarted two separate murder plots, numerous robbery plans, and intervened during a felony assault.
The investigation began nearly two years ago after five year old Alysa Bobbitt was killed and Karen Hancock was wounded in Grants Pass after Jon Meyer discharged a fully automatic rifle in an apartment. During the initial investigation it was discovered Meyer was involved in “Straw” purchasing firearms for other individuals.
“Straw” purchasing is the acquisition of a firearm(s) from a federally licensed firearms dealer by an individual (the "Straw") done for the purpose of concealing the identity of the true intended receiver of the firearm(s). The investigation revealed a ring of “Straw” purchases and purchasers from Jackson and Josephine Counties, with some of the firearms ending up in crime scenes in California.
Investigators seized handguns, rifles, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Marijuana, Oxycodone, and Ecstasy. A Jackson County Grand Jury returned two indictments charging the defendants with over 140 counts including charges for; Racketeering, Attempted Murder, Assault, Delivery of Various Controlled Substances, Promoting Prostitution, Firearms Offenses and Conspiracy to commit these crimes.
Agencies assisting in the investigation include, Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, Oregon Department of Justice, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Medford, Central Point, Grants Pass, and Klamath Police Departments, and RADE.
The investigation is ongoing. It is anticipated there will be more arrests and more state and federal indictments.