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Iredell County Sheriff’s Office arrests seven for methamphetamine

The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office seized more than $1 million worth of crystal methamphetamine following a two-month investigation. The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office received information indicating that Eric Germaine Summers, 28, of North Oakland Avenue, Statesville, was selling crystal methamphetamine. The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office began surveillance operations and undercover officers made several purchases of crystal methamphetamine from Summers. One of the undercover purchases included a handgun.

As the investigation continued, suppliers of the crystal methamphetamine were identified. Through surveillance, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office determined that the suppliers were transporting crystal methamphetamine to surrounding counties. The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office contacted other local law enforcement to join the investigation.

On Oct. 30, two search warrants were served. One at 510 Russel St. and one at 657 South Green St., Statesville. Five suspects were taken into custody: Jose Duenas-Intriago, 21, Carlos Antonio Flores-Cano, 33, Juan Ernesto Ortiz Rodriguez, 29, Rigoberto Portillo-Ramirez, 34, and Jario Leonel Vasques-Espinosa, 20. Investigators also seized drugs, U.S. currency and other items of evidence.

An additional suspect Jesus Cristino Perales, 24, was taken into custody on Nov. 2. Eric Summers was arrested by Iredell County Narcotics Investigators on  Nov. 19.

As a result of this investigation, five suspects are in federal custody with no bond and two suspects are still in custody in the Iredell County Detention Center under $25,000 bond. One federal and one state suspect have immigration detainers.

Six pounds of crystal methamphetamine with a purity of over 95 percent worth $1,083,200 on the street and 15 grams of cocaine worth $3,750 on the street were seized, along with a handgun worth $450. In addition to multiple cellphones and ledgers, three vehicles were also seized.

Summers, Duenas-Intriago, Flores-Cano, Rodriguez and Perales were charged with federal conspiracy to traffick in controlled substance and were not granted bond.

Portillo-Ramirez and Vasques-Espinosa were charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were placed under a $25,000 secured bond.

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