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Gang Members Arrested in Drug Bust

07/15/2009 - 4:00 AM

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Three men have been arrested after a yearlong investigation into the transport of methamphetamine from the State of Washington to Central Minnesota.

Over the last year, undercover investigators of the Central Minnesota Drug and Gang Task Force and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension purchased meth from a local drug trafficking organization that brought the drug to the area and sold it. More than 370 grams of meth were seized with a street value of $50-thousand dollars. Arrested were 49-year-old Marcial Landa Sr., 25-year-old Carlos Silva, and 22-year-old Jesus Silva Ibarra.

Landa, a previously deported felon, was living in St. Cloud under the alias Fidencio Perez Vasquez and is responsible for importing meth from Washington and distributing it in Stearns County. The Stearns County Sheriff’s Department says Landa was the head of Barrio Los Padrinos, the gang that distributed the drugs.

Landa is being held in Marion County, Oregon, on federal drug and immigration charges. Locally he is facing charges of first-degree sale of meth and firearms violations.

Silva was arrested Friday in Morrison County. He sold 1 ounce of meth for $1,900 in St. Cloud. Investigators found 6 ounces of meth and a handgun at his apartment and rental garage in St. Cloud.

Silva is in Stearns County Jail on a $350-thousand dollar bail. He is charged with four drug crimes, and also faces possible federal charges of firearm possession.
Ibarra was arrested Tuesday and faces charges of first-degree sales of meth.

The Sheriff’s Department says the Landa family drug trafficking organization has been the subject of narcotics investigations since 1999. Those investigations led to the arrests of extended family members and associates accused of distributing meth. Investigators anticipate more related arrests in the future.