ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – A large group of individuals has been charged in connection to drug trafficking and money laundering activities in St. George.

The District of Utah says the suspects were distributing illicit narcotics throughout the Washington County area.

A grand total of 17 people were charged with 24 federal counts, including conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine, and marijuana; conspiracy to launder money; distribution of fentanyl and methamphetamine; possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine with intent to distribute; and unlawful reentry of a previously removed alien.

Law enforcement says the 17 individuals were involved in the alleged distribution of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and marijuana.

Officials say Angel Rubio-Quintana, along with his co-conspirators, allegedly obtained narcotics from individuals in Mexico and distributed the drugs throughout the local community. They sent back the drug proceeds to Mexico.

Both federal and state officials were focused on drug trafficking and money laundering activities. During their investigation, authorities also seized over three kilograms of methamphetamine and thousands of fentanyl pills.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to federally prosecuting drug traffickers who fuel addiction and crime in Southern Utah,” said United States Attorney Andrea T. Martinez. “This prosecution highlights law enforcement’s tireless efforts to dismantle drug-trafficking organizations from suppliers in Mexico to drug dealers in St. George. We will continue to vigorously prosecute those who traffic narcotics in our communities.”

Those charged in the indictment are:

· Angel Rubio-Quintana, 41, of St. George

· Ramon Higuera-Cota, 49, of Sinaloa, Mexico

· Presciliano Galax-Felix, aka “Chito,” 54, of Sinaloa, Mexico

· Jaime Rivera-Jauregui, aka “Charras,” 35, of St. George

· Carlos Rubio-Acosta, 19, of St. George

· Lauro Ignacio-Morales, aka “Junior,” 20, of St. George

· Llonatan Gutierrez-Ruiz, aka “Barbas,” 59, of St. George

· Alfreida Simpson, 38, of St. George

· Tanya Adame, 19, of St. George

· Raul Valdez-Chavez, 62, of Riverside County, California

· Juana Marin-Angel, 34, of West Jordan

· Daniel Tena-Villasenor, 28, of Jerome

· Tracy Eyman, 52, of Diamond Valley

· Juan Carlos Orozco, 40, of St. George

· Paul Ciriaco, 33. of St. George

· Oliver Mendez-Rojas, aka “Willy,” 21, of St. George

· Hardet Alan Valdez, aka “Moshi,” 20, of St. George, Utah

The charges follow joint Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operations conducted by the Washington County Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division (IRS), and the United States Marshals Service.