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Feds bust heroin ring in Espanola

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By The Staff

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal authorities say a multi-agency enforcement team has arrested 34 people in the Espanola area of northern New Mexico in a drug trafficking ring that distributed heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Gonzales says the effort included the Drug Enforcement Administration, state police and police departments in Santa Fe and Espanola.

Undercover officers have been working in recent months to root out drug trafficking. Gonzales says the Espanola Valley was selected for the operation because of the high availability of Mexican black tar heroin in the area.

Federal health officials have consistently rated the Espanola area as having the nation's highest per capita death rate from heroin overdoses.