'Operation Big Rig' detectives investigate drug distribution ring, suspects arrested

FLORENCE, AZ - The Pinal County Sheriff's Office arrested individuals involved in a drug distribution ring after a month-long investigation called Operation Big Rig.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Task Force received a tip that dealers were selling cocaine and methamphetamine to truck drivers and other buyers, according to authorities.

Detectives posed as truck drivers in an undercover big rig who were interesting in buying the drugs at several stops including Flash Truck Polishing in Toltec and Show Time Truck Polishing in Eloy.

After the month-long investigation, detectives from Pinal County and Eloy served four search warrants including Flash Truck Polishing and three residences in both cities.

A total of 24.8 grams of methamphetamine, 9.8 grams of cocaine, eight vehicles, one rifle and $26,000 cash were seized during the search.

Eight people were arrested at the truck wash, according to police, including Hector Soto-Quintero, 44, and Rafael Rios, 51, the owners of Flash Truck Polishing.

Soto-Quintero and three others were in the United States illegally from Mexico.

According to police, three others were arrested on separate outstanding warrants.

The other arrested suspects are being identified as Eloy residents Kelly Bahme, 41, the owner of Show Time Truck Polishing, Manuel Chacon, 40, and Ignacio Velasquez, 27.

Sammie Johnson, 23, Ricardo Sodari, 37, and Raquel Valenzuela, 34, of Arizona City were also arrested.

The suspects are facing charges for Possession of a Dangerous Drug, Possession of a Dangerous Drug for Sale, Transportation of a Dangerous Drug and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

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