For Clatsop County sheriff's Detective Mike Shockey, last month's extradition of an alleged drug trafficker from Mexico to Portland validated years of behind-the-scenes police work.

While assigned by the county to the Drug Enforcement Administration from 1994 to 2005, Shockey played a key role in the investigation of Santiago Goicochea-Diaz, now facing 25 counts of drug trafficking and money-laundering in U.S. District Court. The Mexican national is accused of running a methamphetamine and cocaine organization from Mexico through California and Oregon to cities throughout the United States between 1994 and 2000.

Goicochea allegedly recruited and directed a complex and widespread network of "messengers," mostly women, to smuggle drugs to various distribution points around the United States and bring back money from the illicit sales. The drugs and cash were taped to the courier's body or secreted in hidden compartments in cars. The drugs were driven in from Mexico to Anaheim, Calif., and then distributed to other cities through the couriers, who either drove or flew on commercial airlines.

Goicochea lived in Astoria and Seaside in 1993 and 1994 and maintained close ties to the area as he moved around the country. Shockey learned of Goicochea in 1993 when then deputy Tom Bergin found cocaine hidden in the hatchback after stopping a car Goicochea was riding in.

In 1995, a California state trooper found $116,850 hidden in a car during a traffic stop. The car was being driven by another man but had been purchased by Goicochea. The money allegedly was being brought from Clatsop County to Goicochea in Anaheim.

Goicochea owned or rented homes and motel rooms in several different cities around the country, said Shockey, who was part of the team that searched a home in Keizer Goicochea rented where cocaine and packaging and cutting materials were found in August 1995. Goicochea also used the names Jeronimo Diaz-Molina, Juan Bernardo Aguilar-Aviles and Martin Perez Robles and the nickname "Chago."

In 1999, Shockey was part of a DEA sweep with local police that resulted in the arrests of 15 suspected members of the Pineda organization in the Astoria area. At that time, $36,000 was hidden in another car linked to Goicochea at an Alderbrook residence, although he was not there.

Shockey also interviewed women who admitted carrying drugs and money for Goicochea, whom they said personally taped the drugs to their bodies.

A federal grand jury issued indictments against Goicochea and five other defendants in 2000. He was arrested in Mexico in 2004 and remained in jail there until his extradition April 5. Shockey wrote an affidavit used by the U.S. Department of Justice in negotiations with the Mexican consulate to arrange the extradition, which Mexico's president approved after a summit with President Bush. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Haub is prosecuting the case.

In a news release about Goicochea's extradition, the DEA credits the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office in the investigation with the DEA and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division. Shockey returned to regular duty with the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office 2005 and is now a detective on the Inter-agency Narcotics Task Force.

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