Massive drug cartel investigation in Charlotte has ties to Myrtle Beach, documents say

Massive drug cartel investigation in Charlotte has ties to Myrtle Beach, documents say

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A massive drug investigation involving a high-level Mexican drug cartel member has ties to Myrtle Beach, according to court documents.

Federal authorities arrested Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez, Regulo Rangel-Gutierrez, Francisco Garcia-Martinez, Rodolfo Martinez, Raul Rangel-Gutierrez and Rigoberto Rangel-Gutierrez.

They’re accused of conspiring with each other and with other persons to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 300 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine and five kilograms or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine.

Francisco Garcia-Martinez was booked into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County on Monday, Feb. 11 (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Francisco Garcia-Martinez was booked into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County on Monday, Feb. 11 (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

The investigation started in March 2018 when a confidential informant told federal authorities that they had been working for the Jalisco New Generation/Gulf Cartel for several years and transported bulk amounts of money from drug trafficking sales, court documents stated.

Federal authorities said the confidential informant worked with high-level cartel member, Oscar Rangel-Guitirrez.

According to documents, Oscar Rangel-Guitirrez told the confidential informant that he would transport 30 kilograms of cocaine and large quantities of methamphetamine in a one-month period from Texas to Georgia and North Carolina.

During the investigation, teams would make controlled drug purchases and payments from homes throughout the Charlotte-area

“Members of the investigative team believe – based on wire intercepts, surveillance and other facts discovered from the investigation – that Oscar and Regulo transport illicit proceeds, derived from the sales of narcotics, when they travel from Myrtle Beach to Charlotte,” according to federal court documents.

The criminal complaint went on to say that on Jan. 18, law enforcement witnessed Oscar Rangel-Guitirrez and Regulo Rangel-Gutierrez drive from their work site in Myrtle Beach directly to Charlotte with no stops in between in order to meet with the confidential informant, where they discussed obtaining multiple kilograms of cocaine.

Then on Jan. 22, a black Camry with South Carolina tags, registered to Francisco Garcia-Martinez, was used to transport $80,000, a payment for three kilograms of cocaine, from Myrtle Beach to Houston, Texas , according to the criminal complaint.

WMBF News found that Francisco Garcia-Martinez was booked into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center on Monday and is waiting to be transferred to Charlotte. We have reached out to authorities to find out more about his arrest.

Copyright 2019 WMBF. All rights reserved.