- Associated Press - Sunday, March 1, 2020


Authorities in Santa Fe say six people have been indicted on charges of distributing crack cocaine in New Mexixo’s Rio Arriba County.

A grand jury returned the indictments Tuesday and the six defendants were arraigned Friday in federal court.

It’s unclear if any of the defendants have lawyers yet.

Prosecutors allege 32-year-old Jose Mendoza and his 35-year-old wife Natalie Mendoza were high-level suppliers of cocaine in the Espanola Valley.

The couple are accused of laundering drug money by making large deposits at credit unions and using cash to pay auto loans.

Natalie Mendoza also is accused of collecting money from drug deals and keeping records of the transactions.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Jose Mendoza was charged with six counts while Natalie Mendoza has been indicted on seven counts.

Prosecutors say 27-year-old Ryan Rodriguez of Chamita acted as a “mid-level cocaine distributor,” converting cocaine he received from the Mendozas into crack cocaine and selling it by the ounce.

Rodriguez’s girlfriend allegedly took part in drug deals with him and his sister allegedly delivered drugs to customers for her brother.

The drug deals allegedly occurred between October 2019 and last month.

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