Bail set for defendants in Las Vegas meth case

A Las Vegas judge on Friday slapped more than $100,000 in bail on each of six defendants caught in the largest methamphetamine bust in Nevada history.

Justice of the Peace Melanie Tobiasson said she was surprised that each defendant was given $13,000 bail when first booked into the Clark County jail.

Prosecutor Tina Sedlock had asked for $10 million bail for Oscar Cavadas, who is suspected of leading the group, and $1 million for the other defendants arrested in the seven-month investigation that netted 208 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of $5.7 million.

Officers also seized four pounds of heroin, $280,000 in cash, a shotgun, five handguns -- including one with a silencer -- and nine vehicles in the Tuesday bust.

Sedlock said at least six of the defendants were in the country illegally.

Seven of the case's nine defendants appeared before Tobiasson on Friday, including Cavadas, 26, who hired high-profile criminal defense lawyer John Momot.

Momot said the case would be complex considering the amount of evidence, including wiretaps and other surveillance.

A preliminary hearing in the case was set for July 28.

Cavadas was in custody along with Jorge Loza, 26; Armando Lara, 37; Sergio Vieyra-Medrano, 37; Felix Roman, 27; and Salvador Garibo, 27. Tobiasson ordered $100,000 bail for each count they faced.

Cavadas, also known as Moreliano Zaragozaramos, faces four charges, including two counts of trafficking methamphetamine. The other defendants face two or three similar charges, including trafficking methamphetamine, transporting drugs or conspiracy.

Three other defendants -- Cecilia Salgado, 55, Alejandro Gomez, 31, and Mayra Torres, 28, of California -- had been released from jail after posting their initial bail.

Gomez and Torres are U.S. citizens. The citizenship status of Salgado, who appeared in court Friday, was uncertain, said her lawyer, Caesar Almase.

Gomez is scheduled to appear in court Monday, and Torres has a Nov. 10 court date.

Tobiasson said she would not raise bail for the three defendants who were released.

A task force of local and federal investigators confiscated the drugs in a coordinated raid of five valley homes that were part of a Mexican drug operation discovered in January, authorities said.

Authorities think the drugs were made in Mexico and transported here. The seized vehicles had several secret smuggling compartments.

Several more arrests were expected to be made in the case.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at or 702-380-1039.