Authorities announced the arrests of six men in an alleged international drug ring. NBC10's Matt DeLucia reports.
A group of men with ties to Mexican drug cartels dealing in crystal meth were busted in an operation officials dubbed "Operation Breaking Bad" that covered two local counties.
"We are here to announce the breakup of a major methamphetamine ring," Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said while flanked by Berks County DA John Adams and other officials.
Officials said the methamphetamine trafficking ring was based in Reading, Berks County, Pa. but the drugs were allegedly sold in Montco.
Adams called the recent increase of meth in Berks County as “disturbing” and said cartels are trying to push meth since it can be more profitable than other drugs.
Adams said he believed the drugs were manufactured in Mexico and that the idea was to increase demand in southeastern Pa. by creating addicts.
Officials spoke in front of a table where they displayed pounds of confiscated crystal meth, money, cellphones and even a gun.
The investigation began last December when Jose Dejesus Montilla allegedly offered to sell an undercover police officer one pound of crystal meth for $27,000. During that meeting, Montilla allegedly sold the officer 28 grams of crystal meth for $1,800 while asking for help getting a gun.
About a month later, Montilla and some of his alleged accomplices met the detective at Zern's Market in Gilbertsville, Pa. where they allegedly sold 2 ounces of cocaine for $2,000.
Fast forward to August when authorities said Montilla got the undercover another sample of meth. Then on Aug. 31 Montilla's associate Hector Hugo Cucuas, a.k.a. Hector Solorio, met the officer in the parking lot of Zern's to sell 1-1/2 pounds of meth for $43,000. Ferman said broken up that much meth could be sold for $120,000.
Authorities said that Cucuas has a loaded 9mm handgun in his car and that two others, identified as Eloy Solorio-Flores and Alder Hernandez-Solorio stood watch during the transaction.
Police closed in and arrested the three men. Montilla and two other alleged accomplices, Alejandro Ruiz Cabrera and Juan Carlos Morales-Soria, were later arrested.
Cellphone records linked all the men, according to investigators. Of the six men, only Solorio-Flores lived in the country legally, according to authorities.
The six men are set to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.