A two-year undercover investigation conducted by multiple law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrests of five alleged drug dealers in Bishop last week.
The five individuals who were arrested were Randy Garza, 31; Samuel Ledesma, 40; Pedro Gonzalez III, 33; Rose Marie Gonzalez, 29; and Ruben Eric Estrada, 32.
Bishop Chief of Police Larry Lawrence said Friday the investigation began in 2009 when residents complained of heavy vehicle traffic at several houses in town.
An initial investigation by the Bishop Police Department led to a request for assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety's Narcotics Division. Undercover agents began making drug purchases from suspects at that time.
Lawrence said he initially expected the investigation to be short, but as more purchases were made, more suspects were identified.
"Every time I turned around, (narcotics agents) were calling me to let me know that they had made a purchase of cocaine from a different person in town," Lawrence said. "After we saw how big the operation was getting, it was agreed that the undercover agents would take their time and get everyone they could before making an arrest."
On Thursday morning, agents with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, as well as officers from the Bishop Police Department, executed felony arrest warrants at four residences in Bishop.
Garza and Ledesma were arrested on federal indictments for drug trafficking and are being held without bond in a federal prison, Lawrence said.
Pedro and Rose Marie Gonzalez, who are husband and wife, and Estrada were charged with felony cocaine trafficking.
Lawrence noted that the investigation began with information from local residents, and encouraged citizens to report suspicious behavior in town.
"For those of you in this community who want to help make a difference, I urge you to either start or continue to call in with information to the police department," Lawrence said.