Five suspects arraigned in District Court

Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Five men suspected of being involved in the largest drug operation ever in Alaska were arraigned Friday in District Court.

Magistrate John Roberts ordered Vicente Zapata, Erix Manuel Zapata, Santiago Crucey, Juan Crucey and Agapito Crucey detained without bail until they have lawyers. The suspects are from two Dominican families.

The five face various charges for conspiracy to traffic drugs and for possession and distribution of cocaine. Some also were charged with money laundering.

The group likely moved 2,000 kilos of cocaine over a two-year period, according to officers with the Drug Enforcement Agency. The drugs had a street value of more than $60 million.

U.S. Attorney Tim Burgess said earlier this week while announcing the arrest of 25 people that the case is much bigger than any other drug case prosecuted in Alaska.

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