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2 plead guilty in large New Mexico heroin trafficking ring

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LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — Two suspects in a large drug trafficking ring that distributed heroin in Dona Ana County have pleaded guilty.

Esther Soliz and Angel Ortega entered guilty pleas this week in a federal case involving a heroin trafficking ring that included more than 20 people.

Authorities say that 19 of the 21 defendants charged in the ring have entered guilty pleas.

Soliz and Ortega participated in a heroin trafficking conspiracy, federal prosecutor say.

The leader of the groups, Jovita Belmonte-Gonzalez, was accused to supplying heroin to five drug trafficking organizations that distributed the drug around Las Cruces and Dona Ana County.

She has also pleaded guilty. Belmonte-Gonzalez ran the business from her home in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. She faces 10 years in prison.

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