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Three people plead guilty after major cocaine bust in El Paso

Last week, Luis Armando Baylon, Oralia Almanzar, and Adrian “Nanis” Garcia, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. The three were arrested in Socorro during a multi-agency sting operation last summer that involved the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local police agencies.

Baylon, 35, was arrested in June 2016 when the FBI raided his home and found a kilogram of cocaine in his drawer. He also had over $40,000 in cash and a dozen handguns and rifles. He also pleaded guilty to a firearms charge. Almanzar, 43, and Garcia, 45, were arrested in August 2016 along with five other people accused of belonging to the drug trafficking ring.

The arrests were a result of a months-long investigation to control the growing epidemic of illicit narcotics in Socorro. After several search warrants by a huge team of agents at various places, the three felons were tracked down successfully. Sentencing is set to take place in early April 2017.

The ongoing issue of drug smuggling

West Texas is a gateway for narcotic trade from Mexican, Columbian and Dominican organizations. The area is known as the El Paso/Juarez Corridor. The Corridor serves as a transshipment point for cocaine from where it gets transported to Albuquerque and then to other parts of the state. Seized loads can average up to 50 to 800 pounds.

While major busts help dampen the flow of illegal drugs across the border, they can’t help fix the damage caused by drugs already in the country. Sovereign Health provides specialized residential treatment for those suffering from substance abuse disorders, mental illness, and co-occurring conditions.

Sovereign Health in El Paso, Texas, offers safe and comfortable detoxification, intensive behavioral therapy and lifestyle management skills so that patients can transition from drug and alcohol use to mental and physical health. Aftercare planning and ongoing support help to ensure that healthy habits become long-lasting building blocks that create a bright future day by day. To learn more about our specialized programs, please call our 24/7 helpline.

About the author

Dana Connolly, Ph.D., is a senior staff writer for Sovereign Health, where she translates current research into practical information. She earned her Ph.D. in research and theory development from New York University and has decades of experience in clinical care, medical research and health education. Sovereign Health is a health information resource and Dr. Connolly helps to ensure excellence in our model. For more information and other inquiries about this article, contact the author at

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