Police: Children at home when officers bust 5 on meth charges

JUNCTION CITY, Ore. -- Officers arrested five people Friday morning during a meth bust at a home near Laurel Elementary School, officials said.

Junction City Police Chief Mark Chase said an 11-month-old was one of three young children at the home when police served their search warrant.

Officers served a search warrant at 1144 Juniper St. on Friday morning. They reported finding cash, along with with drug records, transactions and other proof of sales inside the home.

"This is a pretty common knowledge amongst the citizens in Junction City that this is a place to come get methamphetamine," said Chief Chase.

Police arrested five adults living at the home.

Officers said two children living at the home were been taken into protective custody. A third child staying the night at the house was also taken in by police while they evaluate the situation, officials said.

Police arrested Troy Malpass, 48, on two counts of possession of meth and two counts of unlawfully distributing meth within 1000 feet of a school.

22-year-old Breanna Spaulding, mother to two of the three small children living at the home, was booked into the Lane County Jail on a felony charge of child neglect.

John Steven Johnson, 52, Tammy Engebretsen, 44, and Robert Lee Keeney, 28, all face a charge of frequenting a known drug house.

Chief Chase said Junction City investigators have been watching the house for meth distribution, adding that last time officers were called out to the house they found a meth lab inside.

"Years ago, when I first started, one arrest would be enough to hold somebody and they'd go off to jail or to prison. But what we find with these evolving drug activities, these drug arrests, is they have to be arrested multiple times before they get prosecuted," said Chief Chase.

A sixth person, Andrew Gullickson, 26, was also arrested in connection to the case. Police officials said he was also charged with frequenting a drug house.

Neighbors told our news staff there have been problems at the house for months, including a drive-by shooting.