Alleged Mexican Drug Trafficking Gang Busted in Arizona


A Mexico-based drug trafficking gang was busted in Chandler, Arizona, resulting in the arrests of 12 suspects.

On Monday, July 30th, the Chandler Police Department announced the arrests of 12 suspects connected with a trafficking ring that was transporting drugs from the Mexican border to the Phoenix metropolitan area for distribution. The long-term investigation began in May 2017 when the Chandler Police Department’s narcotics unit identified an organization operating in their jurisdiction, according to Detective Seth Tyler.

During the investigation, detectives seized two pounds of heroin, methamphetamine, and quantities of cocaine, marijuana, fentanyl, as well as seven firearms, according to police.

Officials identified 12 individuals believed to be connected to the ring and arrested them July 24.

Chandler police identified the suspects as: Guadalupe Larranaga, 37; Francisco Javier-Lopez, 37; Rodolfo Gaxiola-Vega, 26; Diego Vela-Valenzuela, 32; Gaspar Lopez-Felix, 32; Ray Villa, 57; Jesus Gonzales, 47; Vanessa Romero, 33; Jesse Raley, 39; Anna Larranaga, 37; Clarissa Moreno, 46; and Marisela Chavez-Borbon, 26.

All 12 suspects identified during the investigation were booked into the Maricopa County Jail on charges of illegal control of an enterprise, money laundering, conspiracy to commit possession of narcotic drugs, and selling dangerous drugs.

“The Chandler Police Department is committed to working with our community and law enforcement partners to preserve the quality of life in our neighborhood,” said Chandler Police Chief Duggan. “Preventing opioid fatalities is a top priority and this collaborative investigation, and subsequent drug seizures likely saved lives.”

Breitbart Texas contacted the Chandler Police Department who related that there was no information available as to the immigration status of the 12 suspects who were arrested and charged.

Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at


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