Latest news: 03-27-09
Two charged in multi-million dollar meth ring
Two men each face the prospect of 10 years to life in federal prison for involvement in a multi-million-dollar meth ring that operated in Barton County.
Prosecutors say Ronald Willis, 63, of Lamar, and Juan Lara, 61, of Ontario, California, have been found guilty of helping run the illicit operation in southwest Missouri.
The pair was prosecuted as part of "Operation Buckshot" - a multi-agency probe into the large-scale trafficking of meth from California into western Missouri.
The investigation resulted in the seizure of more than 38 pounds of meth valued at more than $100,000 and nearly 90 firearms. Sixteen others have pleaded guilty in the case.
Meth and other drugs hidden in chicken coop
Western Colorado Drug Task Force officers who raided a local home Wednesday dug up 29 ounces of suspected methamphetamine and cocaine buried in a backyard chicken coop.
Alejandro Vergara-Rivera, 32, and Marco Gonzalez-Gomez, 36, were ordered jailed on $100,000 bond Thursday by County Court Judge Gretchen Larson after their arrest Wednesday afternoon at a home at 2977 D Road.
Vergara-Rivera and Gonzalez-Gomez were among nine men inside the home when task force officers turned up with a search warrant just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to an arrest affidavit.
Tip leads to meth seizure on Greyhound bus
Responding to a tip at the Greyhound Bus facility, 700 S. Tyler St., Amarillo police officers seized methamphetamine valued at $33,000 from a stopped bus, police said.
Officers located the "brick-shaped" package wrapped in electrical tape about 6:50 p.m. Wednesday in the open compartment of a piece of luggage.
Officers waited until Gustavo Cabada Gutierrez, 48, of Santa Ana, Calif., reboarded the bus and sat down near the duffle bag, police said.
The package had been wedged between the seat and wall of the bus, and nearby was a second package, police said. A field test revealed that one of the packages contained a crystal-like substance believed to have been meth, police said.
Gutierrez was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance over 4 grams but under 200 grams.