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Authorities bust suspected drug ring

POSTED June 15, 2012 6:05 p.m.

Law enforcement from local and federal agencies arrested five Stanislaus County men Wednesday on allegations they were trafficking in methamphetamine.

Four of the defendants had been indicted by a federal grand jury on June 7, but the indictments were sealed until all the arrests could be made, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Israel Perez, aka Manuel Valasquez, 30, of Modesto, was charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine along with two counts of methamphetamine distribution. Agents found a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and half pound of methamphetamine at his residence.

Juan Acosta Valasquez, aka Johnny, 32, of Modesto, is charged with three counts of methamphetamine distribution. Agents found three pounds of processed marijuana at his residence.

John Turnquist, 31, of Modesto, was charged with one count of methamphetamine distribution. Agents found 54 marijuana plants and ¾ pounds of crystal methamphetamine at his residence.

Jerry Khatthavong, aka J-Rock, 21, of Modesto, was charged with one count of methamphetamine distribution.

Agents also arrested Diego Ramirez, 18, of Ceres. He is charged by criminal complaint with drug trafficking. In his residence, officers found eight pounds of methamphetamine, a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber semi-automatic and a Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic and $3,000 in cash. A Beretta 9 mm semi-automatic handgun was found in the car Ramirez was using, according to the Department of Justice.

These cases are the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Valley Gang Impact Task Force, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Stanislaus County Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Modesto Police Department.

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