A suspected heroin and cocaine trafficking ring in the West Palm Beach area led to the arrest today of 15 people - all from Palm Beach County - on federal drug charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
In all, 19 suspects were charged in the indictment announced late this afternoon, including four who remain at large, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
The indictments are the result of one of the area's largest recent trafficking investigations. Those who have been arrested are scheduled to make their initial appearances Thursday before federal Magistrate Judge James M. Hopkins.
Indicted on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin and cocaine were 12 Lake Worth residents - Kristi Baiano, 30, Rafael Cabasa, 26, Samuel DeJesus, 33, Raul DelToro, 39, Jose Luis DelToro, 41, Ericka Figueroa, 19, Lazaro Figueroa, 33, Amelia Mendez, 58, Miguel Montalvo, 27, David Ochoa, 36, Jose Rivera, 31, and Tracy Young, 46.
Also indicted on that charge were Keith Adams, 46, Perfecto Anciso, 32, and Fabian Figueroa, 25, all of West Palm Beach; Adrian Mendez, 33, of Loxahatchee; and Jewich Valdez, 33, of Royal Palm Beach.
If convicted on this charge, the defendants could face 10 years to life in prison.
Prosecutors also charged Adrian Mendez, Jose Luis DelToro, Valdez and Young with possession to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, a charge that could carry a sentence of from five to 40 years in prison.
Seventeen of the defendants also face up to 20 years on a charge of possession with intent to distribute heroin.
Prosecutors issued that charge against Jessica Faber, 27, of Lake Worth; Adrian and Amelia Mendez; Raul and Jose Luis DelToro: Ericka, Fabian and Lazaro Figueroa; Anciso, Rivera, Adams, Montalvo, Baiano, DeJesus, Valdez, Cabasa and Young.
According the U.S. Attorney's Office, Adrian and Amelia Mendez and Raul and Jose Luis DelToro are also accused of maintaining a drug-involved premises.
A conviction on that charge could carry a sentence of up to 20 years. The State Attorney's Office did not specify the location of the premises.
DeJesus, Anciso, and Faber are also charged with distribution of heroin and cocaine. They each could face up to 20 years.
Another Lake Worth man, Jose Enrique Rodriguez, 28, is also listed in the indictment. However, the office did not specify today the specific charges Rodriguez is facing.
As of this evening, Anciso, Rivera, DeJesus and Faber were still at large, the U.S. Attorney's said.
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