The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

February 22, 2013

DPS says 19 arrested in Texas-based cocaine ring



AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Officers have arrested 19 suspects in a Central Texas-based cocaine and cash smuggling ring with ties to Mexico.

The Texas Department of Public Safety on Thursday announced the arrests in a multi-agency investigation dubbed Operation Treasure.

Authorities have seized $1 million and more than 120 pounds of cocaine in a criminal network operating from the Austin area. Investigators say cocaine was also transported to Houston and Dallas, along with Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida and Alabama.

A federal indictment returned Tuesday and unsealed Thursday charges the suspects with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Six individuals also face charges of bulk cash smuggling.

Prosecutors say proceeds from cocaine sales were transported back to Austin and eventually to Mexico.

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