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Posted: 1/8/2006 1:15:14 PM EDT
Seven arrested in Lyon drug sting
Undercover operation targets methamphetamine sales
JACLYN O'MALLEY
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
Posted: 1/5/2006
news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060105/NEWS01/601050345/1004/NEWS
A three-deputy team of narcotics investigators in Lyon County recently made its largest drug bust, showcasing the county's growing methamphetamine "epidemic," authorities said.

Since late December, the Narcotics Division arrested three suspected methamphetamine traffickers and three suspected dealers -- including a 60-year-old man -- after a three-month undercover sting. Deputies also said they recovered a quarter-pound of methamphetamine, valued on the street at more than $36,500.

Many of the suspects were also selling meth in Douglas County, authorities said.

Deputy Chris Miller, of the 5-year-old narcotics unit, said most drug activity in Lyon County is centered around methamphetamine and that 90 to 95 percent of other crimes, such as robberies and burglaries, are related to addicts looking for ways to support their habits.

"Meth is an epidemic in Lyon County and most of the United States," Miller said. "The trend seems to be that we take one (trafficker) out and two more replace them. It's just a mess."

Miller said the suspected head of the drug ring was Gerrardo Humberto-Mauricio, 23, of Topaz Ranch Estates, an illegal immigrant who's been in Nevada for the past five years.

Humberto-Mauricio was arrested with Benjamin McOsker, 44, of Carson City, after deputies purchased a quarter-pound of meth from the men, Miller said. Deputies also found more meth inside McOsker's car, he said.

Humberto-Mauricio and McOsker were booked into the Lyon County Jail on suspicion of drug trafficking and sales and possession of drugs for sales, authorities said.

About a week later, the deputies along with Douglas County authorities, served search warrants in the Topaz Ranch Estates area of Douglas County, which led them to three residents. Arrested were Ray E. Boothe, 47, John E. Hara, 60, and Tracy Marie Scott-Kiernan, 45, authorities said.

They were booked into the Lyon County Jail on suspicion of drug sales and conspiracy to violate the Uniformed Controlled Substance Act, deputies said.

Last Friday, the deputies served another search warrant on a home in Smith Valley and arrested Katherine Ellis, 53, authorities said.

Kelly Valente, 38, of Wellington, was at the home and arrested on suspicion of unlawful use of a controlled substance. Ellis was booked into the Lyon County Jail on suspicion of trafficking drugs and possession of drugs for sales and conspiracy to violate the Uniformed Controlled Substances Act, authorities said.

Miller said that Humberto-Mauricio allegedly supplied methamphetamine to the other drug suspects.

"Methamphetamine is the primary drug we investigate," Miller said. "It's a major epidemic we're facing now."
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