Several people were arrested on federal drug charges in Santa Fe on Thursday after DEA agents raided a business near Santa Fe’s historic Plaza that is operated by a man who was previously been arrested on felony drug distribution charges.
Though few details were immediately available, law enforcement officials confirmed that the raid on Heavenly Boutique, 203 W. Santa Francisco St., was part of a multiple-agency investigation that has been going on for several months and that multiple arrests were made.
The business is owned by Ashraf Nassar, 29, who is already facing felony charges for distribution of marijuana and hashish, possession of the prescription drug Oxycontin, as well as a misdemeanor charge of and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Those charges are pending.
A sign on the door of Heavenly Boutique on Thursday afternoon indicated that the store was “Close for Inventory” and would open today.
Eduardo Chavez, a group supervisor for the DEA in Albuquerque, said he could not confirm that Nassar was among those arrested, as the indictments where still under seal. However, he did say that the majority of those who were arrested where under federal indictments and others will be charged in federal court.
Chavez said the DEA, the Region III Narcotics Task Force and Santa Fe Police Department were involved in the bust.
Nassar has been in the news several times in the last year, including back in February when a search warrant on his home netted 32 pounds of marijuana stashed inside a gun safe.
In March, a state District Court Judge Frank Mathew issued injunctions against Nassar and his cousin, Musa Nassar, ordering them to stay away from each other following a shooting incident Downtown.
Musa Nassar, who owns Santa Fe West Gallery, located across the street from Heavenly Boutique, filed a restraining order against Ashraf Nassar after that Jan. 7 incident.
Prior to the shooting, Musa Nassar told police that his cousin had threatened him, saying that he would soon be “on the floor.” That evening, Musa fired a gun at a car that had driven by his store.
Musa Nassar testified in court that the passenger in the car pulled out a firearm, and he responded by firing at the car.
Musa Nassar was not cited by police because of the perceived threat on his life. However, he was cited for shooting a gun at his home later that night, though that charge was later dismissed in municipal court.
Testimony during a previous hearing indicated that the cousins have been engaged in a family feud as a result of a land dispute in Palestinian territories.