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16 arrested in East Texas drug bust

Dec. 11, 2013 at 10 p.m.


Eleven people were being held Wednesday in the Gregg County Jail under U.S. Marshal Detainers follow a multi-agency drug bust Tuesday that lead to 16 arrests.

Sixteen people who investigators said were part of a drug ring distributing cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana is East Texas, according to a statement released by U.S. Attorney John. M. Bales.

In August 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration's Tyler Task Force, in conjunction with multiple law enforcement agencies, initiated an investigation into a crystal methamphetamine trafficking organization based in the East Texas with direct ties to Mexico, Bales said.

The 16-month investigation resulted in the seizure of multiple pounds of crystal meth, cocaine and marijuana and more than $158,000 in cash, multiple weapons and vehicles, Bales said.

The arrests stemmed from a federal indictment returned Nov. 20.

Those held in Gregg County are:

Serjio Mojica, 30, of Tyler

Esteban Avellaneda Munoz, 19, of Tyler

Ireri Pineda, 29, of Tyler

Mauricio Orrostieta Rodriguez, 40, of Tyler

Ivan sanchez, 21, of Tyler

Johnny Ayala, 34, of Tyler

Jesus Botella,34, of Tyler

Guadalupe Cuarenta, 48, of Tyler

Juvencio Ortiz Duque, 53, of Dallas

Luis Garcia-Aguirre, 32, of Tyler

Alejandro Hernandez, 46, of Irving

Other arrested are:

Antonio Cortez Gonzales, 34, of Tyler

Monica Hensley, 35, of Longview

Guillermo Ortiz-Pineda, 38, of Houston

Miriam Reyes, 41, of Houston

Juan Gutierrez Mojica, 43, of Tyler

If convicted, the defendants face anywhere from 10 years to life in federal prison.

This case is the result of an ongoing investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

The principal mission of the task force is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation's illegal drug supply, Bales said.

"Today's enforcement operations are indicative of the DEA's commitment to rid our communities of drug trafficking organizations determined to profit on the backs of addiction," said the administration's Dallas Division's Special Agent in Charge Daniel R. Salter in a prepared statement. "Citizens in East Texas can rest assured that the DEA and our law enforcement partners are determined to ensure that Tyler and its surrounding communities remain safe and a great place to live. The success of this investigation is an outstanding example of our law enforcement community's resolve and determination."

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