Grand jury indicts 14 in meth bust


A Clark County grand jury on Friday handed up indictments against more than a dozen people on multiple felonies in the largest methamphetamine bust in Nevada history.

District Judge Linda Bell then slapped the suspected leader, Oscar Cavadas, with $2 million bail and $1 million bail for the other 13 defendants.

The indictments included five new defendants after police raids made nine initial arrests last week.

A seven-month investigation, which included wiretaps and other surveillance, netted 208 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of $5.7 million, authorities said.

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 July 12 bust.

At least six of the defendants were in the country illegally.

Bell ordered bench warrants for all of the defendants, including three who were in the country legally and able to post an initial bail of $13,000 when they were arrested.

Prosecutor Tina Sedlock also asked for a source hearing if any of the defendants are able to post the new higher bail amounts. A source hearing will show whether a defendant is using money gotten through illegal activity, which cannot be used to post bail.

Of the five new defendants, four were already in custody late Friday: Jose Lopez, 20; Francisco Cruz-Vizcara, age unknown; Dagoberto Huerta-Mata, age unknown; and Rolando Cortez-Zamora, 44.

Cavadas remained in custody along with Jorge Loza, 26; Armando Lara, 37; Sergio Vieyra-Medrano, 37; Felix Roman, 27; and Salvador Garibo, 27.

Cavadas, also known as Moreliano Zaragozaramos, faces 20 felony counts, including multiple counts of trafficking methamphetamine, unlawful possession of firearms and conspiracy.

The other defendants face a mix of trafficking methamphetamine and conspiracy charges.

Warrants were issued for three defendants -- Cecilia Salgado, 55, Alejandro Gomez, 31, and Mayra Torres, 28, of California -- who were released from jail after posting their initial bail.

Gomez and Torres are U.S. citizens. The citizenship status of Salgado was uncertain, but she was in the country legally.

A fourth defendant, Lydia Barrelleza, age unknown, remains at large.

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

Those defendants already in custody will be arraigned in District Court Thursday before Judge Jerry Tao.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

 

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