Oregon’s Indian Head Casino Site of Double Drug Arrests, Suspect Hospitalized

Posted on: May 4, 2022, 10:13h. 

Last updated on: May 4, 2022, 11:46h.

Two men were arrested Wednesday on drug charges and other counts at Oregon’s Indian Head Casino. Fentanyl may have been involved in the case.

Oregon’s Indian Head Casino
Oregon’s Indian Head Casino, pictured above. Two suspects were arrested on narcotics charges there. (Image: TripAdvisor)

When Warm Springs Tribal Police Department (WSTPD) officers arrived, they apprehended two of three people in a 2009 Mercedes C350.

One of the suspects, Joshua Dryden, 36, whose last known address was Portland, Ore., was transported to nearby St. Charles Hospital after officers believed he had taken fentanyl. That is a highly potent painkiller that poses health risks.

Dryden was charged civilly under tribal law for unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, and having a false ID. He was cited under federal law for simple possession of a controlled substance.

He also has warrants pending for his arrest in Oregon on the following charges: identity theft, property theft, and unlawful entry into a motor vehicle.

Suspect Remains in Hospital

Dryden is in the custody of the WSTPD until he is well enough to be discharged from the hospital. Then, he will be released to Oregon officials and arrested on the outstanding warrants.

The second suspect, Michael Butrus, 39, whose last known address also was Portland, Ore., was also charged civilly under tribal law for unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Butrus was issued a federal cation for simple possession of a controlled substance.

Police did not reveal the amount of suspected illegal drugs seized. Nor did they provide a street value for the illicit narcotics.

Later, the Mercedes C350 was seized as evidence. It could be sold off by tribal police in a forfeiture process.

The tribal gaming property case provides an example of how narcotics possession remains illegal on tribal property, though it was decriminalized elsewhere in the state.

Words of Caution

“Even though there are new laws affecting the State of Oregon regarding the possession of controlled substances — on lands that are under the jurisdiction of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS), the current tribal and federal drug statutes will remain in effect,” the WSTPD said in a statement this week.

The WSTPD continues to work closely with all facets of the drug abuse and mental health agencies operated by this tribe, but will not tolerate drug usage, possession, or trafficking within its jurisdiction no matter the amount,” WSTPD Police Chief Bill Elliott warned in the statement.

WSTPD officers pledge to continue to “vigorously enforce these laws,” the statement added.