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Six charged in federal drug case

Posted Sunday, November 2, 2014

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Siler City, NC — Five men from Siler City and one from Mebane face federal charges of distributing cocaine and methamphetamine over a five-year period, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

The six were indicted by a federal grand jury after their arrests Oct. 10 by a task force of federal and state agents, sheriff’s deputies and local police.

Authorities seized 6 kilograms of cocaine – about 13.2 pounds – and more than $100,000 in cash when they made the arrests.

The five men from Siler City are Abel Espinoza Garcia, 25; Valentin Gorostieta Hernandez, 30; Mauro Gorostieta Hernandez, 22, Valentin’s brother; Antonio Campo, 42, and his nephew, Kevin Ocampo, 19; and Constantino Alvarez Santana, 37.

Also charged was Craig Leevon McMasters, 42, of Mebane.

A drug operation began in 2009 and ran through last month.

McMasters has state drug convictions in Randolph County stretching back to 1997, with the most recent being in April of this year. He has always been placed on probation, and began three years’ state probation with the most recent conviction, based on 2012 charges.

All are being held pending court appearances. Five are in the Forsyth County Detention Center.

U.S. Attorney Randy Ripley said the government had begun court proceedings to seize 10 acres of land in Siler City as an asset that should be forfeited. He did not say who owned the land.

The case was investigated by Siler City police, the sheriff’s offices in Chatham and Randolph counties, the State Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.

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