- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A Las Cruces man on Thursday pleaded guilty in federal court to drug charges stemming from a drug sting that busted a family-run trafficking organization.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 26-year-old Juan Velazquez pleaded guilty to distributing cocaine and participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Velazquez was arrested in September along with several others who police say were members of a drug-trafficking ring led by 46-year-old Joel Ibarra-Torres, who is on the run and wanted by authorities.

Ibarra-Torres’s son also pleaded guilty in court this week.

Authorities say the ring sold cocaine in the Dona Ana County and El Paso area. The arrests came after a six-month investigation.

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