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Police Arrest Alleged Mexican Drug Trafficker, 44 Others

Authorities have finally arrested a man they believe has led a Mexican drug ring from a hideout in southern Pennsylvania for 20 years.
Posted at 10:43 AM, May 31, 2014

After a year-long investigation, police say they've finally arrested the leader of a suspected drug ring who had been hiding out in southern Pennsylvania for more than two decades.

"Police arrested Salvador Lemus and dozens of others in connection to a drug ring. Lemus allegedly ran the huge drug ring which is also believed to be linked to the notorious Mexican cartel 'La Familia.'" (Via WPMT)

KYW-TV reports authorities are calling the arrests of 65-year-old Lemus and 44 of his alleged soldiers the biggest drug bust in the county's history.

According to Fox News, Lemus had direct ties to the "La Familia" drug cartel in Mexico — and his organization reportedly moved about $60 billion worth of cocaine through the area over the past 20 years.

"​These are groups that kill cops, kill prosecutors, kill judges and don’t think twice about killing civilians." (Via KYW-TV)

Chester County's district attorney told reporters Wednesday local, state and federal authorities began their investigation into the alleged drug ring about a year ago.

After months of undercover work, the use of informants and surveillance, WPVI reports investigators discovered Lemus and his distributors stayed under the radar by working in regular day jobs.

"These guys are going to be working in mushroom houses. They are going to be working in blue collar jobs." (Via KYW-TV)​

Police say Lemus himself used a Maryland landscaping business company and other enterprises to launder and hide his drug money. (Via WPVI)

But according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, officials say Lemus' group wasn't limited to the Pennsylvania area. "Their pipeline was fed from the Guanajuato region of Mexico and drug hubs including Houston, Phoenix, Charlotte, N.C., and Chicago."

Those arrested are still behind bars in Chester County. Lemus faces more than 600 conspiracy, possession and drug delivery charges that could send him to prison for life. His bail was set at $1 million cash.