June 05, 2013
Contact: Erica C. Curry
Phone Number: (602) 664-5600
18 Arrested On Cocaine Drug Trafficking Charges
Cochise County Sheriff’s Office detention officer arrested
TUCSON, Ariz. - DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman today announced the arrests of 18 of 21 suspected members of a cocaine trafficking organization operating in Cochise County. The 12 month long investigation targeted drug trafficking activity in the SierraVista and Bisbee area. Three individuals remain at large.
The investigation dealt with a narcotic distribution organization that would import kilos of cocaine from Mexico, transport them covertly to locations in Tucson and then distribute the cocaine to street level dealers and end users throughout Bisbee and Sierra Vista. The charges include conspiracy to import, transport, sell and possess cocaine; money laundering; sale and transportation of a narcotic drug for sale; and use of a wire or electronic communication in a drug offense.
“Unfortunately, our surrounding communities are not immune to drug trafficking”, said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “DEA works closely with our state and local law enforcement partners throughout our counties in an effort to disrupt these drug trafficking rings who think they can peddle their poisons in our neighborhoods without facing justice.”
On June 3 and 4, 2013, simultaneous arrest and search warrants were executed on suspected members of the drug trafficking organization and their stash houses in Tucson, Sierra Vista, Bisbee and Douglas. In all, 18 suspects were arrested including Cochise County Sheriff’s Office Detention Officer Mario Serrano.
All defendants are tentatively scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 in Tucson at Pima County Superior Court.
The investigation was led by DEA with assistance from the Sierra Vista Police Department, Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, the Bisbee Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Josh Moser.
These charges are merely allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.