Five Las Vegans are facing federal charges in a “largescale” heroin trafficking case, the U.S Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
Authorities allege the group, four men and a woman, ran a drug operation out of Las Vegas, according to a news release. They transported and distributed heroin and other drugs.
Juan Almeda-Vazquez, 27, Maria Landin-Hernandez, 28, Fausto Cruz-Ochoa, 22 and Julian Cruz-Flores, were arrested Monday, the release said. Rafael Cruz-Rodriguez, 41, was already in custody on unrelated charges.
Almeda-Vazquez was the leader of the operation, the release said, and the other four were “narcotics runners.”
Local and federal authorities began their investigation in December, the release said. The ring is accused of distributing 1.5 kilograms, or about 3.3 pounds, of heroin. During the arrest of two of the suspects in an apartment, authorities took half a kilogram of heroin, hundreds of small balloons and rubber bands and over $5,000 cash.
Federal agents made undercover drug purchases, the release said.