JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (AL.com) – All five suspects arrested Thursday in a probe that yielded nearly $1 million worth of drugs were in the U.S. illegally, authorities said Friday.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency announced the arrests of Elsy Judith Martinez-Lopez, 30, Bernardo M. Lopez, 36, Misael Agosttini-Otero, 32, Rafael A. Arvayo-Lopez, 31 and Armando Escobar-Jackes, 39. Two of the suspects – Martinez Lopez and Escobar-Jackes – are being held without bond in the Jefferson County Jail. It’s unclear who has custody of the other three.
Lawmen carried out two raids on Thursday in the Birmingham area, but didn’t disclose the specific locations. The Birmingham Police Department’s Neighborhood Enforcement Team, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Homewood Police Department’s SWAT team, K-9 Unit and narcotics detectives joined the State Bureau of Investigation’s narcotics unit in carrying out the search warrants.
Authorities have not released the locations of the raids, but said they seized $920,000 worth of drugs: 140 pounds of marijuana worth $420,000; two pounds of cocaine worth $100,000 and four pounds of meth worth $400,000. Investigators also confiscated $95,000 in cash and two guns.
All five suspects are charged with drug trafficking.
Senior Trooper Chuck Daniel said all five suspects “did not have legal status.” Three of them have previously been deported from the U.S. because of felony charges. Their return to the country now constitutes the crime of aggravated reentry, which could result in prison time and fines.
ALEA officials are not releasing additional details about the drug operation, but said the case is now closed.