The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) put a stop once and for all to the drug peddling activities of the so-called “Jason Drug Group” operating in the northwestern part of Leyte island with the capture of its current leader, Rodolfo Pregoner y Vallejo @Rudy, after he was arrested by PDEA operatives following a buy-bust operation in Villaba, Leyte.

PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. said Pregoner, who assumed the leadership of the drug group after the arrest of its top honcho Benedicto Jason in September of this year, sold two (2) sachets of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu to a PDEA operative acting as poseur-buyer in a transaction worth eight hundred pesos (PhP 800.00).

According to a report submitted to PDEA NHQ, on December 10, 2012 at around 10:15 in the morning, PDEA RO VIII operatives conducted a buy-bust operation at Brgy. Poblacion Sur, Villaba, Leyte, acting on information obtained after months of painstaking casing and surveillance in the area.

Pregoner was arrested after he handed over the two sachets of shabu to the PDEA agent who acted as poseur-buyer in exchange for the buy-bust money. Subsequent body search after his arrest revealed three (3) more sachets of shabu on his person.

PDEA through Regional Director Atty. Gil T. Pabilona filed appropriate charges against the suspect for violation of Sections 5 and 11 of Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, or the Sale of Dangerous Drugs and Possession of Dangerous Drugs, respectively. If convicted, Pregoner faces life imprisonment and payment of a fine of from five hundred thousand to million pesos at the court’s discretion..

Pregoner is currently detained at the Villaba MPS lock-up cell.

USec. Cacdac said that a drug group is considered effectively neutralized when 60% of its members have been captured, including its leader. Benedicto Jason was arrested on drug pushing charges in March 2012 but eluded arrest, until his subsequent recapture in September of this year. Two other drug group members have been collared by law enforcers in different operations at various times.

“This is our first strike against drug groups in the region following the directive of USec. Cacdac to concentrate on high-priority and high value targets, to include the neutralization of drug groups,” USec. Cacdac added. “We are sending a clear warning to drug traffickers and peddlers in the Eastern Visayas region that we mean business and we are serious in dealing the drug trade a serious blow.”