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Mom and pop drug dealers go down

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It was something akin to a mom and pop drug operation.

In Sunland Park, which sits on the state’s border with Mexico, a few old-timers ran a small but profitable drug conspiracy.

Investigators targeted a heroin-trafficking organization allegedly led by Raymundo Muñoz, 67, of Sunland Park, that allegedly obtained its heroin from Juan Francisco Rivera, 60, of El Paso .

Rivera routinely supplied Muñoz with heroin, in quantities ranging from 2 to 9 ounces, which was smuggled by couriers into the United States across the border in El Paso.

Muñoz is charged with taking the heroin to his Sunland Park residence, where he distributed the drugs to others.

Members of the conspiracy allegedly used telephones to negotiate their heroin deals, arrange for heroin deliveries and pay for the narcotic.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and local police investigated the group last summer using wiretaps and surveillance. They arrested nine people, including Rivera, and seized about a pound of heroin, more than $53,000 and three firearms from various conspirators.

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