Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams announced the arrest of six Mexican nationals for their alleged participation in high-level trafficking of cocaine and crystal methamphetamine in Berks and Montgomery counties, at a Tuesday morning press conference in Norristown.
Ferman, who spoke in a conference room at One Montgomery Plaza, shared information about how the efforts of law enforcement in “Operation Breaking Bad” culminated in the arrest of Hector Hugo Cucuas, Jose Dejesus-Montilla, Alder Hernandez-Solorio, Juan Carlos Morales-Soria, Eloy Soloria-Flores and Alejandro Ruiz Cabrera.
Charges against the men include delivery, and/or possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy and firearms not to be carried without a license, amongst other charges. All the men but Eloy Soloria-Flores are in the U.S. illegally, authorities said.
According to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, the men maintained a hub in Reading, in Berks county, and trafficked the drugs in Montgomery County. Adams said that they believe that the drugs are being manufactured in Mexico.
Berks county and Montgomery county worked together with homeland security, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the state police, and local police departments in an operation that spanned from December 2012 through Oct. 7, when the last man allegedly involved in the trafficking organization was arrested.
“Unless we work together, we are not going to make a difference, and this is a great example of working together to make a difference,” said Adams.
During the investigation, the men from Mexico allegedly attempted to sell cocaine and crystal methamphetamine to an undercover detective. At one point, Montilla is alleged to have agreed to sell 1.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine for $43,000. Some transactions are said to have occurred around Zern’s Farmer’s Market in Gilbertsville.
According to Ferman, authorities have not seen a widespread use of crystal methamphetamine in Montgomery county, but they have seen that some individuals with ties to Mexico are trying to develop a need among locals, which is difficult to exterminate when it has taken hold: “There is very little competition for them and they are looking to create a demand for this poison in the community.”
Five of the men were scheduled to be arraigned at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in Magisterial District Court in front of Judge Maurice Saylor at 12:30 p.m., in Gilbertsville.