SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE
A four month investigation by the Northern Nevada Drug Task Force (NNDTF) has led to the arrest of 8 individuals accused of operating a drug trafficking organization responsible for the regular distribution of methamphetamine in Northern Nevada.
In August of 2011, NNDTF Task Force Officers and Agents initiated an investigation into a mid-level group of suspected methamphetamine dealers suspected of delivering and distributing multiple pounds of methamphetamine throughout the Reno/Sparks area on a monthly basis.
On December 14, 2011, TFO’s and Agents intercepted the delivery of two separate quantities of methamphetamine in transit to Reno for distribution. Nearly two pounds of methamphetamine, a .45 caliber handgun with an obliterated serial number, and two vehicles were seized.
On December 20, 2011, the investigation concluded with the arrest of the suspected leader of the organization in Modesto, CA, on an arrest warrant issued by the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office. Extradition of the suspect to Nevada to face charges is pending.
Aaron Romero-Luquin, 26, of Reno, and Francisca Baltazar-Zarate, 30, of Reno, were arrested on December 14, 2011 on charges of Trafficking Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine for the Purpose of Sales, and Transporting a Controlled Substance.
Artemio Moreno-Morfin, 41, of Modesto, and Joel Ibarra-Delgado, 44, of Modesto, were arrested on December 14, 2011 on charges of Trafficking Methamphetamine Level III, Possession of Methamphetamine for the Purpose of Sales, Transporting a Controlled Substance, and Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number.
Roselio Leon-Reyes, 52, Modesto, was arrested on December 20, 2011, on charges of Trafficking a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy to Violate the Uniformed Controlled Substances Act.
The other three defendants are not being identified at this time as the investigation continues. The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office will lead the prosecution of the suspects involved in the case.
Sgt. Bill Ames, NNDTF Group Supervisor, credits the collaborative efforts of the involved agencies in a successful investigation. “This investigation was successful because of highly skilled investigators in the region as well as the assistance of the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office in obtaining court orders and warrants.”
Washoe County District Attorney Dick Gammick said, “This is another great example of local and federal agencies working harmoniously together to fight crime in Washoe County. We look forward to this type of cooperation far into the future.”
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The street value of the entire amount of methamphetamine seized is approximately $61,440.
The NNDTF is a HIDTA funded task force (High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, HIDTA, is a federal program designed to enhance and coordinate efforts among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies) comprised of agents and officers from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Reno Police Department, Sparks Police Department, Nevada Dept. of Public Safety, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The Sparks Police Dept. Crime Suppression Unit, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office ATAC Unit, the Reno Police Dept. Street Enforcement Team, the Northern Nevada Interdiction Task Force, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also assisted during this investigation.