Federal, state and local authorities have shut down a drug operation that had been distributing narcotics in North Texas for almost five years and had ties with the Mexican cartels, federal officials announced Wednesday.
Thirteen suspected drug traffickers have been arrested, the Justice Department said in a news release.
FBI agents raided a home on Tuesday just across the street from a Grand Prairie elementary school, the news release from the U.S. attorney’s office said. Agents seized 380 grams of heroin, a shotgun and five kilograms of methamphetamine. Agents also seized seven weapons and cocaine from two houses in Dallas, the release said.
If convicted, the suspects face a maximum of 40 years in federal prison and a $5 million fine.
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Federal agents identified the suspects as Henry Alberto Echarte Rivero, Yuniel Eduardo Lima Rivero, Fidel Alain Martin-Sosa, Josue Coy, Leoncio Aguilar, Rebecca Mier, Oscar Hernandez, Alejandro Navarrete, Albert Martinez, Adolfo Ortiz, Marcos Dominguez, Humberto Morales, and Juan Hernandez.
The suspects have ties to the Los Zetas and the New Generation Jalisco Mexican cartels, according to investigators with the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
The drug group is accused of distributing methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine for almost five years in North Texas, beginning in March 2014.
Federal agents said some of the money from the distribution and sale of the drugs were used to purchase other drugs and other drug money was sent to Mexico.
Authorities seized almost $25,000 in U.S. currency during the arrests.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Texas Department of Public Safety, the Internal Revenue Service and police agencies from Fort Worth, Dallas, Carrollton, Grand Prairie, Arlington and Farmers Branch.