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Largest Heroin Bust in Michigan History Nets Seven Additional Defendants

(Detroit, MI) – Nine individuals have been charged in a first superseding indictment with violating various federal drug laws which include conspiracy to distribute 69 kilograms of heroin and 10 kilograms of cocaine, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade. Ms. McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Corso of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, (DEA).

Those newly indicted were Reyes Tapia Nunez, 39, Rachel Bias-Torres, 42, Miguel-Valle-Nunez, 37, Fidel Cortes Mendez, 42, Dwight Jerice Brewer, 38, Jorge Mariscal-Mota, 39, and Branda Lee Flores, 42.

This case began in August of 2011, when DEA Special Agents / Task Force Agents in Oakland County seized the largest quantity of heroin ever discovered in the State of Michigan.

The first superseding indictment, which was returned on February 14, 2012, is part of a previous indictment that alleges that Juventino Urioste Valdovino and Lila Torres-Garcia possessed with intent to distribute multi kilo quantities of heroin and cocaine in Pontiac, Michigan.

When DEA agents executed a search warrant at a residence on Pike Street in Pontiac, Michigan, they seized over $566,000 in US currency, along with the multi kilo quantities of heroin and cocaine. The estimated value of the drugs is well over $150 million street value. The residence on Pike Street was a stash house of both money and drugs.

Members of this drug trafficking organization reside in Mexico, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina and Michigan. Shipments of heroin and cocaine would be received at the Arizona Mexico border, and subsequently delivered to Michigan. Once the drugs arrived in Michigan, multi kilo quantities of both heroin and cocaine would then be distributed to individual members throughout metropolitan Detroit.

It is estimated that this organization is responsible for distributing well over 150 kilograms of heroin and cocaine throughout metropolitan Detroit and sending millions of dollars in drug proceeds to Mexico.

DEA Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Corso stated “Today’s arrests are significant. As evidenced by the fact that the largest heroin seizure ever made in Michigan came from this organization, we know that these drug traffickers have direct ties with the Mexican drug cartels. Halting this operation has curtailed the flow of millions of dollars of illegal drugs into metropolitan Detroit. There is an opiate abuse epidemic in Michigan, and this case exemplifies how DEA is attacking the supply side of that problem. An investigation of this complexity can only be accomplished with the assistance from our state and local partners and they are to be commended for their outstanding efforts on this case.”

This case was investigated by special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Detroit Field Office SONIC group (South Oakland Narcotics Intelligence Consortium) with the assistance of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office NET Task Force.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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