Yerberia shops raided for selling prescription-only drugs - New York News

Yerberia shops raided for selling prescription-only drugs

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Reynaldo Olivares Reynaldo Olivares
MESA, Ariz. -

Mesa police say a group of stores that sell Latino herbs and vitamins were also selling illegal prescription drugs. Police served more than a dozen search warrants at homes and the businesses Wednesday morning.

According to police, these stores were discreetly selling Mexican-made drugs to valley customers. Investigators have been tracking the owners of the stores for a year.

Wednesday at the Yerberia Los Tres Amigos in north Phoenix, police questioned workers and owners. The store advertises its alternative medicines and vitamins, but for some customers, investigators say there was an illegal stash of narcotics.

"There were prescription drugs manufactured and packaged in Mexico that they were selling here in the U.S. without prescriptions," said Mesa Police Sgt. Tony Landato.

Investigators searched 7 stores located all over the valley. They also searched the homes of 7 people believed to be owners.

"It is very clear that this is illegal activity. It is not like you would walk into this store and it is out there in the open for everyone to see. This is something that they are concealing through various methods. Whether it is behind the counter, in a closed - or something that you cannot see in, or in a hidden compartment or canister."

Mesa police first got tipped off about a year ago -- and today they had this warning for customers.

"Who can speak as to what you are getting, or how safe it is?" asked Landato.

Some of the stores were closed Wednesday afternoon.

It's not clear how the owners were bringing the illegal drugs into the U.S. So far police have arrested a dozen people and more may be on the way.

Update: Owners Reynaldo Olivares and Rosa Blanco are facing charges including Participating in a Criminal Syndicate and Possession/Sale of Drugs.

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