WATERLOO – Five people have been charged with drug offenses in a ring that allegedly brought pounds of meth to Waterloo and other Iowa communities.
A Waterloo police officer assigned to the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Forced filed a complaint Jan. 18 in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids seeking conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine charges against Octavio “Tavo” Cortez-Fierros, 26, of Ankeny; Ulises Legorreta Chavez, 29, of State Center; Justin Lee Branon, 34; Xiomara Gonzalez Zambrano, 37, of Kansas City, Mo.; and Mario Nava Zavala, 25, of Des Moines.
Cortez-Fierros, who is believed to be the leader of the operation, was arrested Jan. 17 along with Nava Zavala and Gonzalez Zambrano after undercover investigators arranged to purchase 6.6 pounds of meth at a Des Moines area hotel, court records state.
Early in the investigation, officers seized 2 pounds of methamphetamine from Branon’s vehicle in Waterloo when he apparently on his way to make a transaction on Nov. 30, according to court records. A monitored buy of 4.4 pounds in Marshalltown was set up for later that day.