Law enforcement officials throughout Collin County and Dallas were busy last week as a series of drug busts took place.
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, Sept. 13, the Collin County Sheriff’s Office and Collin County Constable’s Office conducted a coordinated raid at a residence in Blue Ridge, recovering a substantial volume of illegal narcotics and methamphetamines.
The joint operation, conducted in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), was completed without incident.
The efforts were part of an operation around the Dallas area where 20 individuals were arrested for drug distribution. 17 out of the 20 were in the country illegally at the time the offenses occurred, according to John Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Those arrested include: Juliana Millan, 33, Horacio Romero Alpizar, 57, Erick Arellano, 23, Joel Sanchez Bravo, 42, Marko Cardenas, 29, Rigoberto Flores-Gomez, 33, Francisco Garcia, 49, Claudia Garcia-Camacho, 22, Juan Manuel Iturve, 36, Mayra Lira, 27, Noe Lopez-Martinez, 22, Brandon Lutrick, 41, Armando Martin Santana, 34, Jose Guadalupe Valentin, 38, Ricardo Valle, 33, Rufino Santamaria-Varona, 23 and Franuel Teran-Rojo, 21.
“Disrupting drug trafficking organizations like this one is a critical part of our mission,” said Parker. “But we can’t do it alone and that’s why our law enforcement partnerships are essential.”
“Today is one of many examples how law enforcement agencies and the prosecutors unite to make our communities a safer place,” said Special Agent in Charge Clyde E. Shelley, Jr. of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “We will continue to eliminate these threats to our citizens.”
This poly-drug organization distributed substantial quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine in Dallas and other areas of the United States. During the operation, law enforcement officers and agents seized approximately 26 kilograms of methamphetamine, three kilograms of heroin, four kilograms of cocaine, 22 handguns, three rifles, a silencer, 22 vehicles, a non-operational methamphetamine conversion laboratory and approximately $300,000.
The drug trafficking charges carry a mandatory minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment and a maximum of life, and a fine of $10,000,000.
Besides the DEA, other participating agencies include the U.S. Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE,) U.S. Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF,) Dallas Police Department, Farmer’s Branch Police Department, Garland Police Department, Rockwall Police Department, Waxahachie Police Department, Plano Police Department, Collin County Sheriff’s Office, Collin County Constable Gary Edwards, DeSoto Police Department, McKinney Police Department, Mesquite Police Department, Denton County Sheriff’s Office, Tulsa Police Department, Fort Worth Police Department, Rowlett Police Department and the Texas Child Protection Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanna Etessam is prosecuting.
By Wyndi Veigel • News Editor • [email protected]
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