Las Cruces, NM (KDBC) — Authorities have busted an elaborate drug trafficking organization that was trying to sell methamphetamine in Dona Ana and Otero Counties. A total of 18 people have been implicated, although 6 of the suspects are still on the loose.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the group obtained the meth from New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, to sell in Southern New Mexico. Five of those arrested were from Alamogordo.
Law enforcement officers also seized more than three kilograms of meth and $16,000 during the raids.
The 43-count indictment, which was filed under seal on Oct. 16, 2013, was unsealed Wednesday. The indictment charges all 18 defendants with conspiracy to distribute quantities of methamphetamine in Otero and Doña Ana Counties between Jan. 2013 and June 2013. The indictment also includes 14 substantive methamphetamine distribution counts and 28 "phone" counts which allege the use of communication devices to facilitate drug trafficking crimes.
The indictment is the result of an 11 month multi-agency investigation led by the DEA that was designated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force ("OCDETF") program. The OCDETF program is a nationwide Department of Justice program that combines the resources and unique expertise of federal agencies, along with their local counterparts, in a coordinated effort to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations.