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'Major players' tied to Mexican cartels arrested in Columbus meth investigation

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Posted at 2:50 PM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-02 14:50:49-04

COLUMBUS, Ind. -- Two “major players” in the drug trade in south central Indiana were arrested last week following a multi-year narcotics investigation, police said Monday.

Lucilma Santana, 50 ,of Columbus, and her husband, Miguel P. Santana, 53, were both taken into custody on charges of dealing methamphetamine in the Bartholomew County area.

Lucilma was arrested at a residence in the 300 block of Center Street by detectives from the Bartholomew County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET).

At the same time, officers from the Seymour Indiana SWAT team and the Santa Rosa County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office served search warrants at multiple locations in Florida, where Miguel was thought to have fled.

Miguel was not located in Florida, but was arrested Friday afternoon in Texas when the Houston Police Department stopped him for a minor traffic violation and learned he was wanted on multiple warrants out of Indiana.

According to a statement from JNET, the Santanas are accused of being a conduit between Mexican drug cartels and local dealers in the Columbus and Bartholomew County areas. Police said the couple is suspected in connection with two large-profile drug busts last year in Columbus on South Gladstone Avenue and at the Hilltop Mobile Home Park.

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In all, detectives said they have arrested approximately a dozen associates of the Santanas, seized more than 30 pounds of methamphetamine and more than $300,000 in cash over the past 18 months.

Lucilma was booking into the Bartholomew County Jail on a felony charge of dealing in methamphetamine. Miguel was being held at a jail in Houston on four warrant for dealing in meth while awaiting extradition back to Indiana.

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