The Benton County Sheriff’s Office has identified the two men arrested Thursday during a multi-agency drug trafficking bust.
Sheriff Jerry Hatcher said Jesus A. Vega Beltran, 33, and Eldmir E. Ochoa, 23, were taken into custody during a raid at a Finley home.
Vega Beltran and Ochoa — who also uses the name Eldmir E. Ochoa Gastlum — were arrested on suspicion of delivery of methamphetamine, Hatcher said in a news release.
Authorities seized about 20 pounds of meth from the Finley house on East Bowles Road, and more meth and heroin from unidentified addresses in Pasco. A large amount of cash also was seized.
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Jail rosters show Ochoa of Kennewick is in the Franklin County jail on suspicion of delivering meth. His bail is set at $10,000.
Vega Beltran, address unknown, is being held in the Benton County jail without bail on suspicion of delivering a controlled substance.
Hatcher said he is a previously deported felon with a weapons history and a past conviction for sex trafficking. He did not say Friday where Vega Beltran was convicted or when he was deported.
Prosecutors have until Tuesday to decide whether to charge or release the men.
Court documents show authorities used a confidential source to buy meth from Vega Beltran. The source was to meet him at a Pasco grocery store.
Franklin County Detective Lee Barrow said Spokane detectives watched Vega Beltran contact Ochoa in a black Nissan Altima behind a Mexican market on North 10th Avenue. Then, Vega Beltran went to meet the confidential source at the grocery store.
After allegedly agreeing on a price, Vega Beltran returned to Ochoa at the market to get the drugs, Barrow said.
The source allegedly bought the drugs, which Spokane detectives later tested and confirmed were meth, said court documents.
Police followed Ochoa back to an apartment complex at 1327 N. 24th Ave., Pasco, and arrested him.
The Spokane Police Department worked with the Tri-Cities Metro Drug Task Force for about a month to make the arrests.
Tri-City law enforcement assistance included specialty teams and officers from Benton and Franklin counties, as well as Pasco, Kennewick and Richland police. Washington State Patrol troopers also helped with the investigation.