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Drug bust is one of biggest in Goodhue County

Local authorities hailed Thursday's methamphetamine seizure in Wanamingo - which resulted in the arrest of five men - as a major strike against area narcotics activity.

A series of arrests Wednesday netted two pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine, $8,000 in cash and a handgun.

"To date, this is probably the largest seizure the sheriff's office has been involved in," said Capt. Pat Thompson of the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office. "Two pounds of methamphetamine is a major amount of narcotics."

Five men, ranging in age from 21 to 51, were jailed and handed off to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, federal charges were filed Friday against three of them: Adolfo Valenzula, 21, Plainview, Minn., David Grajeda-Barreras, 32, Wanamingo and Benjamin Estrada-Alvarez, 38, Wanamingo.

Those three men were arrested Wednesday during a traffic stop coordinated by the sheriff's department and the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics Gang Task Force. Three ounces of methamphetamine and two ounces of cocaine were seized during the stop in Minneola Township.

All three were booked into Goodhue County Jail on suspicion of first-degree drug charges.

Later that day, two more men were detained after leaving a residence in Wanamingo Township.

Acting on a search warrant, authorities entered 43488 County Road 1 in Wanamingo Township, where they found two pounds of meth, cash, a .45-caliber handgun, a scale and drug paraphernalia.

The two men, Amado Valdez-Cuevas, 51, no known address, and Rigoberto Mendez-Chaparro, 26, West Concord, Minn., were jailed on holds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They were released to federal agents Friday.

Assisting agencies were the Red Wing and Plainview police

departments, Wabasha, Olmsted and Filmore county sheriff offices and ICE.

"This was a perfect example of law enforcement working

together to make an arrest on major narcotics suppliers," Thompson said.