Police say they have seized 26 pounds of crystal meth and have arrested eight people in two Eastern Carolina counties. They estimate the meth was worth $500,000 on the street.
The Greenville Regional Drug Task Force announced the arrests Thursday morning. They say the investigation spanned a four month period and those arrested were working for the Sinoloa Drug Cartel, based in Nogales, Mexico. They say the cartel was transporting meth over the Mexican border and distributing it throughout the U.S.
A vehicle stop April 1st on Highway 264,near the Highway 11 intersection, found 16 pounds of meth in a vehicle with Arizona license plates. Police say the meth was hidden in the vehicle's frame.
Arrested at the time were Moises Pena, 28 years old, of Greenville, Alan Morey, 50 years old, of Mesa AZ and Salvador Flores-Reyes, 57 years old, of Phoenix AZ.
Then on Friday, the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit, along with DEA agents, Kinston police, and the Greenville Regional Drug Task Force stopped a vehicle on Highway 70 in Kinston where ten pounds of meth was found hidden in a clothes dryer that was in the vehicle's cargo area. That vehicle was a rental from Nevada.
Guillermo Sicairos, 30 years old, of Nogales Mexico, Maria Ojeda, 19 years old, of Phoenix AZ, Maria Ojeda, 37 years old, of Phoenix AZ, Katherine Lasswell, 30 years old, of Mesa AZ and Elizabeth Villanueva, 43 years old, of Mesa AZ were all arrested in that discovery.
Authorities say the arrests will also benefit drug investigations currently underway in Arizona and Mexico. Additional arrests are possible, according to police.