Local authorities part of federal drug raids
By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on November 13, 2009 1:46 PM
A nationwide campaign targeting a Mexican drug cartel includes Wayne County arrests dating back to at least December 2007, according to documents released Thursday by the Sheriff's Office.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration calls "Project Coronado," a 44-month operation targeting the cartel La Familia Michoacana, the "largest single U.S. Strike against Mexican drug cartels" in U.S. history.
Of 313 people arrested in 19 states, 16 were arrested by the Goldsboro-Wayne Drug Squad, a cooperative effort between drug authorities with the city police department and the Sheriff's Office.
The arrests include co-caine-, methamphetamine-, and marijuana-related offenses, often marked by very large quantities of seized drugs and high secured bonds for the defendants involved.
Local drug authorities declined to comment on the federal-level investigation, releasing instead the arrest reports related to Project Coronado.
Overall, authorities seized more than 136 pounds of cocaine, 729 pounds of meth-amphetamine, 967 pounds of marijuana, weapons. Two clandestine drug labs were also shut down, according to a DEA news release.
According to the arrest reports, authorities here seized 35 pounds of cocaine and about five pounds of methamphetamine during the operation.
The arrest reports, compiled by Lt. Chris Worth of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, included:
*Sergio Ramon-Perales Reyna, 20, Nobles Loop Road, Trenton; charged with two counts of trafficking cocaine after the alleged seizure of about 33 pounds of cocaine
*Eduardo Anastasio Alamanza, 35, Nobles Loop Road, Trenton; also charged with two counts of trafficking in cocaine. Sentenced to a minimum of just under six years in prison for the offenses
*Derrick Omega Young, 28, West Hooks River Road; two counts trafficking in cocaine, possess marijuana with intent to sell or deliver
*Hector Ramos Avellaneda, 23, Virginia Beach, Va.; two counts trafficking in cocaine, maintaining a dwelling for the sale of controlled drugs
*Jose Alejandro Arcieniega-Moreno, 27, Baker Chapel Church Road, Mount Olive; charged with two counts of trafficking in methamphetamine. Sentenced to a minimum of nearly 19 years in prison
*Antione Darnell Lambert, 24, Brodnax, Va.; charged with two counts of trafficking in cocaine for an alleged 1.23 pounds of cocaine seized
*Eric Alejandro Cisneros-Cortez, 25, Edwards Road, Princeton; trafficking in cocaine
*Pablo Martinez Avellaneda, 34, Fort Knox Road, Magnolia; conspiracy to traffick in cocaine
*Roberta Gomez-Torres, 30, West Magnolia Lisbean Road, Rose Hill; conspiracy to traffick in cocaine
*Fidel Urias Gamez, 33, Dobson Circle, Greenville; conspiracy to traffick cocaine. Sentenced to a minimum of nearly three years in prison for the offense
*Daniel Rios, 27, Herman Trail, Gaston; conspiracy to traffick cocaine
*Rufino Rios, 26, Drummersville Road, Seven Springs; trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to traffick cocaine, resist police
*Ramiro Torres Rios, 41, Drummersville Road, Seven Springs; trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to traffick cocaine
*Vasquez Israel Garcia, 22, Slick Rock Road; conspiracy to traffick in cocaine, trafficking in cocaine. Sentenced to a minimum of nearly six years in prison
*Vasquez Juan Acosta, 30, Slick Rock Road; conspiracy to traffick in cocaine, trafficking in cocaine, maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance. Arrested after the alleged seizure of more than one pound of powder cocaine, authorities said
*Reynoldo Garcia Vasquez, 28, Slick Rock Road; trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to traffick in cocaine. Also arrested after the alleged seizure of more than one pound of cocaine.
According to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration release, La Familia Michoacana is known for violent acts in Mexico and abroad.
The cartel, based in the southwestern Mexican state of Michoacan, allegedly import "vast quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico into the United States," the DEA said in a news release.