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Multiple arrests made in ongoing drug trafficking investigation

Several arrest were made by local, state and federal law
enforcement agencies as part of an ongoing drug trafficking investigation.
Several arrest were made by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies as part of an ongoing drug trafficking investigation.
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An ongoing investigation by multiple local, state and federal authorities led to the arrest of several people suspected of drug trafficking.

The Texas Department of Public Safety held a news conference Thursday, announcing that 17 people were arrested Wednesday in addition to five that were already in custody and six others that are at large.

"We have investigative teams not only on the local side but on the federal side that this is one of their priorities and targets. We will continue actively looking for these individuals that are at large," DPS Regional Director Orlando Alanis said.

One of the raids occurred around 9 a.m. Wednesday.

KFOX14 had cameras rolling as uniformed DPS investigators and undercover law enforcement members were searching a home on Apollo Avenue and Mount Latona Drive in northeast El Paso.

Authorities were seen going in and out of the home and carrying boxes.

Officials said the investigation began about two years ago, and DPS initially targeted members and associated of the Barrio Azteca gang.

Throughout the investigation, authorities seized five pounds of heroin, three pounds of cocaine, 18 pounds of marijuana, about one pound of methamphetamine and $292,079 in cash, officials said.

The following El Paso residents were among those arrested:

  1. Samuel Atayde, 28.
  2. Julio Beltran, 33.
  3. Kevin Chavarria-Garcia, 19.
  4. Cynthia Corral, 53.
  5. David Dominguez, 31.
  6. Joel Flores, 37.
  7. Josephine Garcia, 38.
  8. Ramon Garcia, 45.
  9. Dora Gutierrez, 35.
  10. Dakota Kennedy, 30.
  11. Gabriel Marquez, 25.
  12. Hector Minjarez, 57.
  13. Johnny Rangel, 37.
  14. Andrew Rios, 24.
  15. Victor Romero, 50.
  16. Olga Vasquez, 53.
  17. Robert Young, 34.

The following five El Pasoans were already in state custody and are awaiting additional charges:

  1. Guido Cantoral, 29.
  2. Patsy Garcia, 41.
  3. Benjamin Ritter, 50.
  4. Shera Sansores, 34.
  5. Aaron Serrano, 37.
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The agencies involved in the investigation include the West Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Drug Enforcement Agency, El Paso Sheriff’s Office, El Paso Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigation, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Federal Probation, United States Marshal Service, Lea County New Mexico Drug Task Force, and members of the 34th District Attorney’s Office-Border Prosecution Unit.

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