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20 arrested in connection to drug trafficking operation in Central Texas

Source: MGN Source: MGN
CENTRAL TEXAS, TX (KXXV) -

On Thursday, federal, state and local authorities announced the arrest of 20 people in connection to a methamphetamine trafficking operation in Central Texas.

A federal grand jury indictment was unsealed and now 17 people face charges with either conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance or distribution of a controlled substance.

The indictment alleges the defendants distributed controlled substance, including meth, cocaine and marijuana in Austin, Temple and Killeen since Jan. of 2013.

Authorities seized approximately two pounds of meth, several ounces of heroin, nearly half a pound of cocaine, several pounds of marijuana; approximately $45,000 and up to 15 firearms.

In the past, authorities have seized nearly one kilogram of meth and smaller amounts of cocaine and marijuana.

In a news release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Texas sent the following list with the names and charges of those arrested.

· Ramon Rodriguez, Jr., age 30, of Temple, TX, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana;

· Elias Mendoza, age 35, of Temple, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana;

· Eliodoro Denova Lopez, age 28, of Pflugerville, TX, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana;

· Joel Jaimes Denova, age 30, of Austin, TX, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana;

· Gabriel Rangel, age36, of Cameron, TX, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine;

· Jose Salomon, age 29, of Cameron, marijuana;

· Kenneth Montgomery, age 57, of Cameron, cocaine;

· Nora Tijerina, age 35, of Temple, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine;

· Oscar Rodriguez, age 34, of Cameron, marijuana;

· Thomas Lee, age 30, of Temple, marijuana;

· Atilano Felipe Garcia, age 33, of Temple, less than 50 grams of methamphetamine

· Crystal Beck Diggs, age 36, of Belton, TX, less than 50 grams of methamphetamine;

· Douglas Junior Taylor, age 37, of Temple, cocaine

· Jonathan Salazar, age 29, of Cameron, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine

· Kevin Kuehnle, age 50, of Killeen, less than 50 grams of methamphetamine

· Tawuan Stewart, age 37, of Temple, cocaine; and,

· Rodney Jerome, age 46, of Temple, less than 50 grams of methamphetamine

Other charges faced by some of those arrested, include use of a communication device in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and, possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

All of the defendants remain in federal custody. Detention hearings are expected to take place within two weeks before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske in Waco.

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