PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Prosecutors in Rhode Island brought federal charges on Wednesday against three men, including one from South Ogden, arrested in a nearly $8 million drug bust that authorities have linked to a Mexican cartel.
Federal and state prosecutors say they will cooperate to try the men in federal court. The men had been charged in state court after being arrested following a raid in North Kingstown in January.
"It is a priority of the Department of Justice and my office to prosecute significant drug trafficking cases, in particular those cases that may transcend borders," said Peter Neronha, U.S. attorney for Rhode Island.
Federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint in U.S. District Court in Providence against Armando Saucedo, 30, of Hacienda Heights, Calif.; Andrew Rios, 39, of Downey, Calif.; and Adilson Antonio Reyes, 29, of South Ogden, Utah.
The men were arrested following a monthslong investigation led by state police into shipments of drugs into Rhode Island. The operation relied on a tractor-trailer and a tow truck to transport the cocaine to a storage facility, from which it was then distributed throughout New England, state police have said.
The 65 kilograms of cocaine, worth $6.6 million, and $1.25 million in cash the men were transporting have ties to a Mexican drug cartel, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials have said, though they have not specified which cartel.
The men are charged with conspiring to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.
Saucedo, Rios and Reyes are being held without bail. Lawyers for the men declined to comment on the new charges.