Federal authorities arrested 17 members of a group accused of operating a crystal methamphetamine ring in the Washington region since at least January of last year.
An undercover officer bought drugs and firearms, including a .50 caliber sniper rifle, from several members of the group on multiple occasions, according to the charging documents.
The suspects include group members from throughout the Northern Virginia area and Montgomery County, but officials would not say Thursday where the drug and gun buys occurred.
Ten people were arrested on charges of being part of a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from January 2006 through September 2007. They are Pablo Abulencia, 50, of Germantown, Md.; Corazon Abulencia, 54; Miguel Adecer, 30; Alvin Anioay, 26; George Banzon, 44; Gracia Evangelista, 50; Gilberto Evaristo, 34; Ronaldo Glory, 30; Froilan Manansala, 49; and, Edgar Mesina, 37.
Six others were arrested on charges of being involved in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, including: Christopher Aguda, 31; Michael Canda, 31; Raymond Ching, 28; Margarito Duran, 53; Gregory Miravite, 48; and Arnel Sambile, 44.
Victoria Baker of Springfield was arrested on charges of selling the sniper rifle to the undercover officer May 31. An 18th person, Jovito Matas Binoya II, 39, was arrested on a related charge in July.
The arrests took place at multiple locations starting just before midnight Tuesday and continued well into Wednesday morning, said Jim Rybicki, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The suspects are set to appear at preliminary hearings on Monday and Tuesday of next week.
More information will likely be released during those at that time, Rybicki said, including more details of the drug sales and operations.