ECTOR COUNTY, TX (KWES) - Residents in two West Odessa neighborhoods where authorities reported seizing large quantities of methamphetamine said they "had no idea" a cross-border, multi-million dollar drug operation was housed yards away.
Federal and local authorities served search warrants at two Ector County addresses - 5112 Luke Ave. and 12248 W. Triple Crown Dr. - in November and discovered a combined total of 11 pounds of meth.
Ten pounds of the seized drugs were "in the process of being converted from liquid into crystal form," according to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents. The remaining pound was categorized as crystal meth.
Investigators linked the drugs to a network of more than two dozen people following a months-long investigation and announced the indictment of 29 people Tuesday at a press conference in Midland.
Seven of the 29 individuals were arrested Tuesday morning in Odessa; 15 of the alleged meth ring members had already been taken into custody.
"This was a group led by a pair of brothers named Moises Ramirez and Jose Luis Ramirez," said United States Attorney Richard Durbin, Jr. "They were involved in the importation of crystal methamphetamine and liquid methamphetamine from Mexico into Odessa."
The drugs were also distributed to Portland and northern California, officials said.
Homeowners at 12248 W. Triple Crown Dr. were unavailable for comment.
NewsWest 9 spoke with Francisco Ramirez Perez, a resident at 5112 Luke Ave. who identified himself as the property owner.
"It's usually very quiet here," he said. "I rent [plots of my] land to family... They park [their] trailers near my house."
Perez told NewsWest 9 he had no knowledge of drug-related activity on or near his property.
"No, I stay here in my house," he said with a laugh.
The following 23 individuals were arrested in connection with the methamphetamine seized on Luke Avenue and Triple Crown Drive, and could face between 10 years and life in federal prison if convicted: John Flores, Julian Ruiz, Bonnie Aguilar, Argentina Lujan, Raul Gardea, Toby Eaton, Deidra Elaine Acosta, Moises Ramirez, Jose Ramirez, Mauro Delgado, Paul Levario, Oscar Escudero, Manuel Perez, Juan Daniel Vega, Raul Robles, Janet Perez, Jose Luis Miranda Ramirez, Mercedes Garcia De Ramirez, Henry Andrade, Monica Del Carmen Berumen Lopez, Martin Llanez, Chastity Grooms and Justin Turner.
Six people named in the federal indictment have not been arrested yet, authorities said Wednesday.