7 Statesville men arrested in drug probe

Iredell County sheriff’s investigators have arrested and charged seven Statesville men and seized about $1 million worth of crystal methamphetamine during a two-month undercover drug investigation.

The six pounds of crystal meth had a purity of at least 95 percent, Sheriff Daren Campbell said Friday. Investigators also seized three vehicles, a handgun and $3,750 of crack cocaine, Campbell said.

Charged with conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance were Eric Germaine Summers 28, Jose Duenas-Intriago, 21, Carlos Antonio Flores-Cano, 33, Juan Ernesto Ortiz Rodriguez, 29, and Jesus Cristino Perales, 24. Flores-Cano is a known gang member, Campbell said. All five are in federal custody and were jailed without bail.

Rigoberto Portillo-Ramirez, 34, and Jario Leonel Vasques-Espinosa, 20, were each charged with possession of methamphetamine, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were jailed on $25,000 bails.

Perales and Vasques-Espinosa have immigration detainers, meaning Immigration and Customs Enforcement has requested taking custody of them if they’re released from local custody.

Joe Marusak