12 arrested in Phoenix drug trafficking operation

Posted: Updated:
(Source: DEA Phoenix Division) (Source: DEA Phoenix Division)
(Source: DEA Phoenix Division) (Source: DEA Phoenix Division)
(Source: DEA Phoenix Division) (Source: DEA Phoenix Division)

Authorities say they've stopped a Phoenix drug ring in its tracks and seized more than 27,000 pounds of marijuana and millions in drug money.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Tuesday said 12 of the 13 suspected members of the Luis Armando Cruz drug trafficking organization working for the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel were arrested on Dec. 13.

The DEA said it was a 12-month multi-agency investigation known as "Operation Kruz Control." Since October, 12, 2012, the Phoenix-based group has been importing thousands of pounds of marijuana from Mexico into Arizona and New Mexico, and then smuggling the drug money back into Mexico. Load drivers and backpackers would move the drugs in remote areas of the desert near San Simon and Willcox, AZ, for delivery to Tucson and Phoenix, according to the DEA.

The following people were arrested:

  • Luis Armando Cruz, 39
  • Cruz's wife, Alma Dolores Escalante-Figueroa, 39 
  • Carlos Antonio Garcia, 31
  • Sergio Garcia-Morales, 32
  • Felipe Escalante-Reyes, 22
  • Carime Itsel Reyes-Escalante, 19
  • Carlos Ramirez, 42
  • Sergio Robert Ramos-Moreno, 19
  • Trevon Xavier Marcus-Bondae, 18
  • Maxine Carter, 25
  • Jeremiah Steven Woolsey, 24

On Monday, they were arraigned in federal court and remain in custody of the U.S. Marshals.

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