3 illegal immigrants arrested with $200K worth of meth in Gaston County, police say

Gaston County police say they arrested three illegal aliens with $200,000 worth of methamphetamine in their possession.

Christian Cabrea-Rivas, 36, Silvia Hernandez-Iturralde, 29 and Marco Tulio Ramos Garcia, 35 were taken into custody on Monday, Jan. 7 after authorities found them in possession of two kilograms of meth. 

Police say several children were present during the drug bust. They have since been taken into protective custody. 

All three suspects were charged with trafficking methamphetamine by the Gaston County Police Department. Hernandez-Iturralde and Garcia are being held under a $250,000 bond. Garcia also had an outstanding deportation order when he was arrested, and is under an immigration hold as well. 

Cabrea-Rivas is being held on a $275,000 bond and an immigration hold. He is a documented member of the street gang MS-13, and has an extensive criminal history.

In December 2018, he was arrested in Mecklenburg County for an assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, assault by pointing a gun, communicating threats and possession of a stolen gun. 

Several agencies participated in the large-scale investigation, including Gaston County police, Gastonia Police, Mount Holly police, Belmont police, State Bureau of Investigations, Charlotte Mecklenberg police, Homeland Security Investigations, and Homeland Security Investigations officers. No other information has been released at this time.