12 Methamphetamine Traffickers Arrested in Brownfield, Lamesa Drug Bust

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Twelve alleged drug traffickers were arrested Wednesday in Operation Tormenta De Arena (“Sandstorm”), announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.

During the bust in Lubbock, Brownfield, and Lamesa, DEA agents and their law enforcement partners also seized roughly 27 pounds of suspected methamphetamine, U.S. currency, and two firearms, including one that had been stolen.

Ten of the defendants were charged in a 12-count indictment unsealed today. Those charged in the indictment include:

  • Jamey Jimenez, aka “Shorty,” charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • Celia Zurita, charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • Alfred Miranda, charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • Rorigo Gonzales-Gonzales, aka “Canelo,” charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • Patricia Renee Guerrero (née Lopez), charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • Christina Fuentes, charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • Jessica Moreno, charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • Amanda Uresti Salgado, charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • Lauren Mackenzie Helbert (née McCarroll), charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • Christopher Matthew Vasquez, aka “Peeps,” charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine
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Another two were charged via criminal complaint.

“Methamphetamine trafficking penetrates every aspect of our society and threatens the safety of our neighborhoods,” said Eduardo A. Chávez, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Dallas Field Division, which oversees operations in Lubbock. “DEA Lubbock and our law enforcement partners are committed to identifying and destroying the networks and criminal organizations who distribute this poison throughout La Mesa and Terry counties, and the overall greater Lubbock area.”

Defendants’ initial appearances will begin Thursday, March 31 at 1:30 p.m. in Lubbock.

An indictment is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

If convicted, some defendants face up to life in federal prison; others face up to 20 years.

The operation was the result of the hard work of the Caprock HIDTA (High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Task Force. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division – Lubbock Resident Office and Caprock HIDTA led the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division, Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Department of Public Safety, Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office, Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, Terry County Sheriff’s Office, Lubbock Police Department, Brownfield Police Department, Lamesa Police Department, and the Texas Anti-Gang Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey R. Haag and Stephen J. Rancourt are prosecuting the case.