Police fear meth bust could herald ‘new threat’ locally - Brownsville Herald: Valley

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Police fear meth bust could herald ‘new threat’ locally

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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 12:00 am

McALLEN~- Police fear a new threat of methamphetamine trafficking could be moving into the city after a tip from an unlikely source.

Officers first responded to a call about a burglary Sunday at 3621 W. Bluebird Ave.

After they arrived, police discovered and seized 61 pounds of marijuana along with "unusual amounts" of plastic bags, masking agents and other items used for drug distribution, Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Police arrested Jorge Velazquez, 21, who faces charges of possession with intent to distribute the marijuana. The McAllen man called police to report the supposed burglary, but officers took him into custody after they discovered the drugs, Rodriguez said.

Further investigation after the arrest led investigators to 4904 W. Walnut Ave., where they found 211 pounds of meth, 18 pounds of black tar heroin and 29 pounds of cocaine.

The drugs have a combined street value of more than $5 million, Rodriguez said.

Four Mexican nationals were arrested in connection with the drugs. They are:

  • Victor Hinojosa, 50, of Mexicali, B.C.N., Mexico
  • Victor Ivan Lopez, 24, of Reynosa
  • Hugo Torres, 27, of Reynosa
  • Ramiro Lopez Camarillo, 34, of Reynosa

The four men are set to face federal charges of conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs, Rodriguez said.

Investigators believe the meth was being broken down into smaller quantities for further distribution, the chief said. Police do not believe the drugs were being manufactured in McAllen.

Rodriguez said the meth seizure was one of the largest he has seen in McAllen and could be a troubling sign of traffickers moving meth north through the Rio Grande Valley to other parts of the country.

"We had not substantiated (meth trafficking) before in any substantial amount," he said. "We are quite taken aback by this new threat."