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Authorities arrest 17 alleged cartel-connected Barrio Azteca gang members in El Paso

March 3, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Authorities arrest 17 alleged cartel-connected Barrio Azteca gang members in El Paso

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Federal, state and local authorities apprehended over a dozen purported members and associates of the cartel-connected gang known as Barrio Azteca following a 20-month probe which resulted in the bust in El Paso this week.

Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety revealed that the investigation led to the arrests of 17 Barrio members.

Another five were already in custody and six are still on the lam for criminal charges of participating in organized crime and the manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance, KVIA reported.

The Department of Public Safety added that they were supported by local police agencies, along with the FBI, DEA, BATFE, and Homeland Security.

Officials have not verified the immigration status of the suspects in custody or those who are still at large. The suspects reportedly distributed drugs in El Paso, Midland, San Antonio, Dallas, and New Mexico.

Members of the Barrio Azteca Gang, also known as Los Aztecas, act as foot soldiers for La Linea, which is the armed wing of the Juarez Cartel.

During a news conference, Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers said, “We’re able to target low-level [and] street-level dealers, in El Paso, which are affecting the lives of El Pasoans.”

Flowers added that police seized over $292,000 and: five pounds of heroin; three pounds of cocaine; 18 pounds of marijuana; and roughly one pound of meth.

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