6 undocumented immigrants tied to drug cartel, drug trafficking in Mecklenburg, Iredell counties

IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. -- Six undocumented immigrants have been arrested after officials said they were involved in a massive drug operation with ties to a Mexican drug cartel.

According to WSOC, Rodolfo Martinez, Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez, Raul Rangel-Gutierrez, Regulo Rangel-Gutierrez, Francisco Garcia-Martinez and Rigoberto Rangel-Gutierrez are accused of running a drug trafficking operation in Mecklenburg and Iredell counties.

The arrests come amid the 200 people that were arrested in ICE raids across North Carolina earlier in the month.

Authorities said the suspects worked under the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which is operated by El Chapo Guzman's main rival, Nemesio "El Mencho" Oseguera Cervantes.

Justice in Mexico, a human rights group, said El Mencho started gaining power in 2018 after El Chapo's arrest.

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El Chapo was found guilty on all charges -- including murder -- on Feb. 13.

In North Carolina, federal officials found that more than 1,800 grams of meth were delivered from a home in Statesville in August and October of 2018.

The resident, Oscar Rangel-Guiterrez, is accused of being a high-level cartel member.

In 2014, a source told agents that large amounts of cocaine were being stored at a home in Troutman which belonged to Rangel-Guiterrez's parents.

Documents show Rangel-Guiterrez and the five other suspects were in the United States illegally.

Rangel-Guiterrez is also accused of transporting 30 kilograms of cocaine and an unspecified large quantity of methamphetamine in a one-month period from Texas to Georgia and North Carolina, WSOC reported.

Agents are also looking into an apartment in Hidden Valley, a home in Derita, and a home in east Charlotte.

Four of the suspects were arrested in North Carolina. The other two were arrested in Florence, South Carolina, and Cleveland, Ohio.