Two arrested in black tar heroin bust at Las Vegas airport

Las Vegas police on Saturday seized nearly 13 pounds of black tar heroin at McCarran International Airport and arrested two men accused of trying to distribute the illegal drug, which has a street value of more than $1 million.

Police said Sunday the seizure was one of the largest in the history of the Metropolitan Police Department.

Police arrested 47-year-old Jessie Gallegos of Phoenix, and 31-year-old Jose Villarreal-Gazaviz of Nayarit, Mexico.

Both men face federal charges of distributing heroin and conspiracy to distribute heroin.

About 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Las Vegas narcotics detectives conducting routine surveillance at the airport became suspicious of two suitcases. A narcotics dog revealed they contained approximately 12.62 pounds of black tar heroin.

The suitcases were scheduled to be placed on a flight to Indianapolis, with a stop in Chicago.

Contact reporter Antonio Planas at or 702-383-4638.