Mexican Drug Cartel Allegedly Had Stash House In Minnesota

By McCarton Ackerman 07/31/14

Four men have been charged with operating the spot for an unnamed cartel. One has pleaded guilty, while another remains at large.

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Looks like the influence of Mexican drug cartels has spread all the way to the North Star State.

Four men have been accused of operating a “stash house” in the Minnesota city of St. Paul for an unnamed cartel, with one of them pleading guilty in court earlier this week.

Antonio Navarro, 19, admitted to conspiring to distribute meth. He allegedly ran the stash house along with 32-year-old Juan Ricardo Elenes Villalvazo, while 31-year-old Jesus Ramirez and 22-year-old Jonatan Delgado Alvarez reportedly flew in from Los Angeles to Minneapolis after large quantities of meth and $200,000 in cash were stolen from the house. The two Los Angeles natives have also been arrested, but Villalvazo remains at large.

However, all four men could be convicted on several other equally serious charges including kidnapping, assault, and robbery. Prosecutors have accused them of kidnapping and torturing two teenagers they believed had stolen drugs and money from the stash house.

The unnamed teens were released after it became clear they had no involvement with the missing drugs or money. However, one of them required immediate medical treatment after nearly having his finger severed by a pair of scissors during an interrogation by Villalvazo.

Despite the serious charges filed by local prosecutors, the courts have decided to put their cases on hold pending the federal drug charges.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.