DPS, DEA arrest 18 suspects in El Paso prescription drug fraud scheme

DPS DEA arrest 18 suspects in El Paso...

Investigators with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) arrested 18 suspects allegedly involved in a prescription drug fraud scheme. 

The arrests were made on Thursday, September 6, 2018, said DPS Regional Director Orlando Alanis.

DPS Special Agents conducted an eight month investigation focused on identifying and targeting criminal organizations and individuals suspected of prescription drug fraud.  The suspects allegedly profited or conspired to profit illegally from prescription drugs, including hydrocodone, suboxone, methadone, tramadol, alprazolam, Tylenol with codeine, lyrica, phentermine and temazepam, DPS official said. 

"The diversion and abuse of prescription drugs poses a significant threat to the health and safety of El Pasoans," said Kyle W. Williamson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) El Paso Division. "As we have seen in other parts of the country hit hard by the opioid crisis, abuse of these drugs leads to countless shattered lives and tragically high rates of overdose deaths. For this reason, the DEA and our law enforcement partners in El Paso are committed to working together to investigate prescription fraud and stop those who illegally obtain and divert addictive pharmaceuticals."

The following individuals were arrested:

Leticia Cervantes, 60, of El Paso, Texas

Mauricio Cervantes 43, of El Paso, Texas

Cynthia Molinar 37, of El Paso, Texas

Guadalupe Nuno 66, of El Paso, Texas

Margaret Ziashkau 45, of El Paso, Texas

Maria Porras 60, El Paso, Texas

Myrna Dattoli 43, El Paso, Texas

Diana Gonzalez, 35, El Paso, Texas

Gracie Castillo 45, of El Paso, Texas

Nicholas Castillo, 47, of El Paso, Texas

Rosa Castillo, 76, of El Paso, Texas

Mario Martinez, 22, of El Paso, Texas

Maria Garcia 58, of El Paso, Texas

Guadalupe Zamarripa, 70, of El Paso, Texas

Debra Drost, 33, of El Paso, Texas

Luis Iglesias, 49, of El Paso, Texas

Alfonso Gil III, 38, of El Paso, Texas

Rogelio Salas, 32, of El Paso, Texas

Four fugitives are still on the run, officials said.

To report prescription drug fraud, contact DPS at (915) 849-4000 or DEA at (915) 231-4300.

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