May 10, 2012 Arrests Made In Joint Narcotics Case | Eastern North Carolina Now

Press Release:

    On April 1 and May 4, 2012 in Pitt County, Greenville, Lenoir County, and Kinston NC arrests were made in a joint narcotics case. The Greenville Regional Drug Task Force, in partnership with the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, and Kinston Department of Public Safety, recently concluded a criminal investigation that resulted in the arrest of persons working within the Sinoloa Drug Cartel, a Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization based in Nogales, Mexico. Persons arrested in this operation were based in Phoenix, AZ.

    This drug cartel is transporting methamphetamine over the Mexican border and distributing this dangerous drug throughout the United States. During this investigation, 26 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine were seized in Pitt and Lenoir Counties, and 8 people were arrested. The investigation spanned a 4-month period. Acting on information that methamphetamine would be transported through Pitt County, on April 1, 2012 detectives with the Drug Task Force directed the stop of a suspect vehicle with an Arizona registration. The vehicle was stopped on Hwy 264 near the intersection with Hwy 11. Two packages totaling 16 lbs. were located and seized from the vehicle. The methamphetamine in this vehicle was concealed by securing it to the frame beneath the vehicle.

Arrested that day were:

· Moises Ponce Pena, 28 years old, Greenville NC

· Alan Ross Morey, 50 years old, Mesa AZ

· Salvador Flores-Reyes, 57 years old, Phoenix AZ

   These 3 individuals are in the Pitt County Detention Center under various trafficking charges.

   On May 4, 2012 The Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, along with agents from the DEA, Kinston Public Safety, and the Drug Task Force, acted on information that methamphetamine would be transported through Lenoir County.

   Two suspect vehicles were stopped near Hwy 70 in Kinston. This stop resulted in the seizure of 10 lbs. of methamphetamine. The methamphetamine in this case was concealed in a clothes dryer that was stored in the cargo area of a rental vehicle from Nevada.

Arrested that day were:

· Guillermo Villarreal Sicairos, 30 years old, Nogales Mexico

· Maria Fernanda Ojeda, 19 years old, Phoenix AZ

· Maria Cruz Ojeda, 37 years old, Phoenix AZ

· Katherine Lasswell, 30 years old, Mesa AZ

· Elizabeth Villanueva, 43 years old, Mesa AZ

   These 4 individuals are in the Lenoir County Jail under various trafficking charges.

   This investigation was successful because of the law enforcement partnerships which allowed for extensive cooperation across jurisdictional lines. The arrests in this case will benefit drug investigations currently ongoing in Arizona and Mexico. This investigation is continuing and additional arrests are possible.

   Participating agencies in this investigation include the Lenoir County Sherriff’s Office, Kinston Department of Public Safety, the US Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Greenville Regional Drug Task Force. Members of the Greenville Regional Drug Task Force include the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, the State Bureau of Investigation, the Farmville Police Department, and the Greenville Police Department.

    Sergeant D. Bowen
      Pitt County Sheriff's Office
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