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Report: Suspects made 20-plus trips to Mexico in heroin case

Reported by: Christine Kim
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Updated: 4/14/2014 1:57 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV — The Clark County grand jury indicted four people Friday, accusing them of being big suppliers of the dangerous and sometimes deadly drug. Prosecutors are calling the defendants "a major source of heroin" in the Las Vegas valley. 

Armando Vizcarra, 43, (also known as Geraldo Escara), Luis Rodriguez, 43, Asucena Barreto-Gutierrez, 46, and Jesus Jaimes-Barrato, 20, each face counts of conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and trafficking in a controlled substance.

Prosecutors say the street value of the heroin involved was more than $1 million.

According to the Metro arrest report, Barreto-Gutierrez and Jaimes-Barrato said they made more than 20 trips to Mexico for the past five years for loads of heroin.

Barreto stated he knew his mother was a drug courier, but says "he did what he needed to do."

What put a stop to it was a shipment from Mexico last month. A surveillance team used information from a pair of wiretaps to locate the load vehicle in Needles, Calif., and followed it to Las Vegas.

That's where police say Escara met with the drug couriers at a North Las Vegas gas station. Police say Escara is the target of the investigation and the person who ordered the heroin. 

Court documents show Rodriguez was the drug runner and helped operate the stash house at an apartment complex.

Bail was set at $500,000 for Vizcarra and Barreto-Gutierrez, and $100,000 for Rodriguez and Jaimes-Barrato. Their next court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. April 23.

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