Another large heroin bust in Yuba-Sutter
Special to The Union
A husband and wife, both full-time heroin dealers, were arrested Thursday morning at their home directly across the street from King Avenue Elementary School in Yuba City, a drug enforcement official said.
Mike Hudson, commander of the Yuba-Sutter Narcotic Enforcement Team, or NET-5, said Joseph and Yolanda Valdez are a major reason for a recent spike in heroin usage in Yuba-Sutter.
The Valdezes took orders from customers on a dedicated cell phone and made deliveries instead of selling at the home in a small apartment complex on the north side of King Avenue. Yolanda Valdez is the apartment manager, Hudson said.
Joseph Valdez, 47, was arrested about 11 a.m. as he drove away from the house. His 46-year-old wife was arrested at the house, where officers found 1.5 ounces of Mexican black tar heroin, enough for 150 bags typically sold to users at $20 each.
Packaging materials and $1,300 in sales proceeds also were found, he said.
The Valdezes are also users. Three hypodermic syringes loaded with heroin were also found, Hudson said.
The couple have served two prison sentences each for drug-related offenses. Joseph Valdez, a known but inactive member of the Surenos street gang, once served a 14-year sentence, Hu son said.
The couple’s 16-year-old daughter, a student at Yuba City High School, was taken into custody by Sutter County Child Protective Services.
Hudson called entering the “fairly well-kept home” a “surreal” experience, knowing that the couple made their living selling heroin. The daughter’s bedroom looked like a typical teenage girl’s room, with stuffed animals and posters on the wall, he said.
“She probably had no clue what her parents did. It wouldn’t surprise me,” he said.
Hudson called the Valdezes “the second half” of the reason for the heroin spike. The other half, dealers Juan Carlos Lopez and Jorge Ramon Guzman, were arrested earlier this month at their trailer home in the 2500 block of North Township Road, he said.
The Valdezes were worked in conjunction with Lopez and Guzman, obtaining their heroin from the same source in Stockton, Hudson said.
Unlike Lopez and Guzman, the Valdezes are legal U.S. residents, he said.
Contact Marysville Appeal-Democrat reporter Rob Young at 749-4710 or at email@example.com.
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