17 Arrested in El Paso Crystal Meth and Gang Investigation
The Texas Department of Public Safety put forth a nine-month investigation that ended in 17 total arrests. The investigation was targeting parking lot crystal meth deals and gun seizures. The arrests are linked to a slew of charges, including possession of crystal meth and heroin, plus vehicles stolen in Lubbock, Texas.
According to DPS, two gangs were heavily involved in the illegal activity. The Artistas Asesinos began in Juarez as a graffiti tagging crew that eventually became connected to the Sinaloa cartel about a decade ago. In the past, the gang hasn't had a major presence in El Paso.
The other gang involved in the arrests was Interstate Mafia, or known as ISM, which is a newly developed street gang that is based in Texas. Three members of each gang were arrested in busts that were linked to this investigation.
Here are all of the suspects that were arrested in the bust:
- Michael Zamora, 28, manufacture/delivery of a methamphetamine.
- Armando Stevens, 39, two counts possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, tampering with evidence, bond revocation on indecency with a child by exposure.
- Raymond Acosta, 32, of Horizon City, possession of meth.
- Dennis Ramos, 47, engaging in organized criminal activity-theft over $2,500, assault family violence. Released Nov. 14 on $12,000 bond.
- Jimmy Martinez, 33, of San Elizario, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute crystal meth.
- Samantha Nicole Vasquez, 26, engaging in organized criminal activity-theft over $2,500.
- Amanda San Roman, 32, manufacture/delivery of meth. Released Oct. 27 on $75,000 bond.
- Kassandra Ann Townsley, 23, possession of a controlled substance.
- Nicholas Robert Smith, 41, felon in possession of a firearm.
- Jajaira Marie Alvarado, 30, of Las Cruces, fugitive warrant from New Mexico. Released to another agency on Aug. 4.
- Regina Lea Ybarra, 33, possession of a controlled substance. Released to another agency on Nov. 11.
- Margarita Levario, 48, possession of a dangerous drug. Released Oct. 27 on $1,000 bond.
- Noel Taylor, 49, fugitive warrant from New Mexico. Released Oct. 29.
- David Rangel, 47, of Lubbock.*
- Alejandro Montalvo, 33, of Lubbock.*
- Victoria Garcia, 35.*
- Travis Kellar, 25.*
Overall the investigation, that was put forth by multiple agencies led to the seizure of 15 weapons, four vehicles, a variety of drugs, and cash.
The investigation is ongoing.