Eight suspects linked to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel in Mexico have been arrested in Dallas on federal drug charges, accused of trafficking methamphetamine and other drugs from a “super-lab” and selling them out of a used car dealership over the last year, authorities announced Wednesday.
The suspects are also accused of using homes in Dallas and DeSoto as laboratories to recrystallize the meth, according to a federal indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday.
The defendants are: Marco Antonio Gonzalez, 31; Ricardo Mendez-Negrete, 42; Jose Trinidad Medina Tapia, 31; Miguel Carrillo-Ayala, 38; Alma Zoraida Borrayo-Villasenor, 32; Javier Guizar-Hernandez, 28; Hector Garcia-Gomez, 36; and Ivan Gonzalez, 22.
Borrayo-Villasenor, Carrillo-Ayala, Tapia and Guizar-Hernandez are Mexican citizens and were here illegally, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office.
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According to court documents, witnesses told a Drug Enforcement Administration agent that Gonzalez, also known as “Speedy,” was selling cocaine, marijuana and meth at his dealership, Hampton Motors, in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas.
Gonzalez told one of the witnesses that he was part of a “large scale” meth group that was producing up to 160 kilograms at a time in a “super-lab,” the documents said. Ivan Gonzalez also sold drugs at the dealership, a witness told the agent.
The Gonzalezes used money from the drug sales to buy vehicles for the dealership, according to the indictment. Authorities have seized about 30 vehicles from Hampton Motors.
Agents also searched homes in Dallas and DeSoto, where the other suspects appeared to be living, according to a criminal complaint in the case.
In the DeSoto home, the agents found “multiple kilograms” of meth and “at least thirty gallons” of liquid meth, the complaint said.
In two Dallas homes, the agents seized about two pounds of heroin, $5,000 in cash, and “large quantities” of meth and “multiple gallons” of liquid meth. In all, the agents seized 750 kilograms of meth valued at $5 million to 7 million from the homes, the indictment said.
The agents suspected that the homes were being used as laboratories to recrystallize meth.
Mendez-Negrete is also accused of selling the DEA agents $3,500 in meth in September 2016 and $7,500 in meth in March, according to the court documents.
A Dallas grand jury on Tuesday indicted the suspects on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
The suspects are either members or associates of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to the indictment. The Jalisco New Generation is the newest yet one of the most powerful cartels in Mexico, according to the DEA. The cartel formed around 2010 after breaking off from Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel.
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At border towns, cartel drug smugglers are only limited by their imagination, often hiding drugs in secret compartments within vehicles. email@example.com