On Friday 01/31/14 agents from Region II finished an investigation into a methamphetamine and heroin trafficking organization operating in the four corners area. This group became known to agents in the summer of 2013, multiple sources advised that these individuals are very violent and working for a larger drug trafficking organization in southern Arizona.
A search warrant for the suspect’s vehicle and Farmington hotel room was obtained. On 1/31/14 at approximately 1 AM the search warrants were served. Due to the reports of violence, agents enlisted the help of the Farmington Police patrol officers and the traffic division. Agents waited for 2 of the suspects to leave the hotel and advised the patrol officers who stopped the vehicle while Region II agents secured the hotel room. Two suspects were located in the vehicle and one in the hotel room.
The names of the suspects were unknown at the time of the arrests, only their nicknames were known. The 3 Mexican national males used a vehicle that was registered to a different person and moved to a different hotel every few nights. With the assistance of Immigration and Customs Enforcement the 3 males were positively identified as 27 year old Jesus Pena-Navarette, 33 year old Juan Alvarez-Salazar and 25 year old Heber Valdez.
Jesus Pena-Navarette has a prior DWI and drug possession charge in the US and has 2 prior criminal deportations back to Mexico.
Juan Alvarez-Salazar is considered and “overstay” on his current passport with no known criminal history in the US.
Heber Valdez has no known criminal history in the US and 2 prior deportations back to Mexico.
Agents recovered .9 pounds (410 grams) of methamphetamine, .75 pounds of heroin (342 grams). $2,830 cash and a 2004 Audi were also seized.
The 3 men were booked on 2 counts of trafficking a controlled substance by possession with the intent to distribute (methamphetamine and heroin), and all 3 have ICE holds placed on them.
Due to the large amount of narcotics and the immigration status of the men, this case will be presented to Homeland Security Investigations and the US Attorney’s office for federal prosecution.