Three plead in large drug bust

Three men charged in the January seizure of more than $600,000 in cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana pleaded guilty in District Court on Tuesday.

Aaron Salas-Arellano, also known as Ruvin Lamas, 37, pleaded guilty to trafficking 14 to 28 grams and faces two to 15 years in prison; Daniel Andrade-Mendoza pleaded guillty to trafficking one ounce or more and faces 10 to 25 years in prison, and Jose Pacheco, 21, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a crime and faces up to a year in jail, when sentenced Oct. 21.

The three were arrested Jan. 3 following a raid in which police recovered 5.2 pounds of cocaine, 2.6 pounds of methamphetamine, 5.5 pounds of marijuana, and $9,500 in cash.

According to the arrest report, officers conducted four separate purchases of cocaine from Andrade-Mendoza. On two of those occasions, Salas-Arellano was allegedly present.

The two locations searched were Andrade-Mendoza's Stanton Arms apartment on Woodside Drive and Gonzales' and Lamas' Carson Catalina apartment on Hot Springs Road.

Gloria Sanchez, 21, also arrested on Jan. 3, has since been deported back to Mexico, said Assistant District Attorney Gerald Gardner.

Lamas and Andrade-Mendoza remain in custody on $1 million bail. Pacheco is being held on $250,000 bail. All three men are believed to be in the country illegally and have immigration holds on them as well.

Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.


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