Spring Valley police nab 44 in drug probe

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After a nearly yearlong investigation, Spring Valley police arrested 44 people on felony drug charges, immigration violations and other crimes, including a murder-for-hire plot.

Undercover police targeted five different bars that cater to the Latin American immigrant population in Spring Valley. According to police, major drug transactions took place at the locations. Over the past three weeks, police started making an average of two or three arrests a day, bringing the total to 44. Police say they seized marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroine, methamphetamines and $50,000 in cash during the busts.

Investigators say the operation initially started out as a gang investigation. However, police say they found perhaps two or three hardcore gang members during the probe. They then delved into several loosely affiliated drug-dealing enterprises.

Investigators say 24 people were arrested on drug charges, seven for illegal immigration status and 13 for robbery and burglary charges. According to police, one person arrested was involved in a murder-for-hire plot. Police say the investigation with the anti-crime unit is continuing. Several county, state and federal officials, such as members of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration, were also involved in the busts.

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