Four-month long investigation leads to arrests of alleged members of drug trafficking organization

KINGMAN – Two Mexican men have been arrested in connection with a four-month long investigation into a drug trafficking organization, reports the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team, with one of those men, 26-year-old Christian Castro-Barraza, arrested in Kingman.

MAGNET wrote in a news release that the drug trafficking organization was providing Mohave County with “deadly” fentanyl-laced pills and methamphetamine. The investigation ended with Mohave County Sheriff’s Office SWAT, and detectives and special agents from multiple agencies executing three search warrants in and around Kingman.

On Feb. 5, the warrants were executed in the 1200 block of West Beale Street, the 2100 block of Omaha Drive and the 2000 block of Badger Hollow Road.

According to law enforcement, the main target of the investigation, 49-year-old Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Sandoval, aka “El EME,” of Mexico, was taken into custody at 3 p.m. Feb. 5 in Flagstaff by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on warrants issued by MAGNET. Castro-Barraza, of Mexico, was reportedly arrested for his involvement in the organization prior to the search warrants being executed.

MAGNET wrote that during the investigation, detectives and agents seized three firearms, 4 pounds of methamphetamine, 5,400 fentanyl pills and 4 ounces of cocaine with a combined street value of approximately $100,000.

Gonzalez-Sandoval was arrested on suspicion of three counts of transportation of dangerous drugs for sale, three counts of transportation of narcotic drugs for sale, two counts of possessing a weapon during a drug offense and two counts of prohibited possession of a firearm, all felonies.

Castro-Barraza was arrested on suspicion of possession of narcotic drugs for sale, possession of dangerous drugs for sale, promoting prison contraband and possessing a weapon during a drug offense, all felonies.

Both were booked into the Mohave County jail.

During the investigation, MAGNET was assisted by detectives with the Flagstaff Metro Narcotics Investigation Taskforce along with agents from ATF, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations.

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