LAS CRUCES - The county's largest heroin and methamphetamine busts this year are headed to federal court for prosecution, according to Metro Narcotics unit Sgt. Bobby Holden.
Teodoro Vasquez-Vasquez and Jose Valerio-Valerio - both U.S. citizens - are expected to face mandatory 10-year prison sentences, if convicted, Holden said.
Vasquez-Vasquez, 26, allegedly sold an undercover agent a total of 18.9 ounces of methamphetamine in three meetings in Vado, Anthony and Las Cruces between April and June, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.
Vasquez-Vasquez was arrested last week in Las Cruces delivering the largest portion of the high-purity drug - thought to have been smuggled from Juárez in his rectum - to the agent, who he believed was a dealer.
The meth, which at street level is usually cut with other substances to 80 percent purity, was 99.2 percent pure and was to be sold - at bulk prices - for almost $26,000.
On the street, with reduced purity and sold in quantities ranging from a teener, or sixteenth of an ounce, to a gram, the meth could have been sold for anywhere from $53,000 to $85,000 - more if it were sold in quantities below a half-gram.
In a separate Metro case, Valerio-Valerio, 59, is thought to have swallowed small rubber balloons containing 25 ounces of black tar heroin originating in Delicias, Chihuahua, Holden said.
A typical heroin seizure results in a half-ounce or ounce of the drug, the latter of which costs about $1,300, Holden said.
An ounce of heroin is a lot, he said. They sell $20 amounts (on the street) that are literally the size of a BB.
While the bulk price for 25 ounces of heroin is a whopping $30,000, a dealer breaking that amount down to street level quantities could sell that much heroin for $7,800 an ounce, or $195,000.
His case will be filed in federal court in the coming week.
In addition to these seizures, Metro Narcotics has also seized about 45 pounds of cocaine and 6,500 pounds of marijuana so far this year.
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