Feds: 6 alleged members of Mexican cartel arrested in NC

Six men accused of working for a major Mexican drug cartel were arrested for trafficking drugs through North Carolina, including Mecklenburg and Iredell counties, according to an affidavit filed by an agent for the Department of Homeland Security.

Special Agent Timothy M. Bradley says the suspects-- Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez, Raul Rangel-Gutierrez, Regulo Rangel-Gutierrez, Rigoberto Rangel-Gutierrez, Francisco Garcia-Martinez and Rodolfo Martinez-- have been bringing large amounts of meth and cocaine through the area for about six years. 

According to the affidavit, none of the men have legal residency in the United States. 

Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez is thought to be the leader of the group. The information was obtained through a confidential informant, who has been working with law enforcement since March 2018.

The informant admitted to being a member of the Jalisco New Generation/Gulf Cartel, known to operate out of Vera Cruz, Mexico, and says the suspects were operating under the gang's umbrella.

The drugs were reportedly moved from Texas, through Georgia and up to North Carolina.

On Jan. 22, a car registered to Francisco Garcia-Martinez was used to take $80,000 from Myrtle Beach to Houston-- payment for three kilograms of cocaine, the affidavit says. A day later, two of the suspects were photographed in Houston meeting with an unidentified Hispanic man. 

On Feb. 9, the men again drove to Houston to pick up five kilograms of cocaine, which led up to the arrests days later. 

Following the detailed investigation, Homeland Security issued arrest warrants for the suspects involved. In addition, they obtained warrants to search six properties and 10 cars, and four warrants for car seizures.