AUSTIN (KXAN) - More than $1 million in cash and 13 kilograms of cocaine were seized in what local and federal authorities said Thursday was a major drug operation run by gangs based in Mexico.
Three people were arrested on drug-related charges in the operation, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and others said in a news conference.
Arrested on the cocaine-related charges were Sergio Guzman, 35; Joe Hernandez, 33; and Michael Vallejo, 35.
Authorities said detectives with the Gang Suppression/Major Crimes Unit began their investigation in early 2012 based on information that members of the Mexican Mafia and Tango Blast gangs were receiving narcotics from a source operating out of Piedras Negras, Mexico, for the Zeta Cartel.
"This investigation led to the arrest of Guzman and the seizure of nine kilograms of cocaine, three handguns and $915,061 ... on April 23, 2013," a news release said.
Meanwhile, authorities also announced Thursday that four others were arrested in connection with a major methamphetamine raid involving federal agents, Austin police and the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office.
The meth operation led authorities to several homes in and around Austin. Those arrested were Mario Navarro Almazan, 37; Reyna Alejo, 38; Raul Vallejo-Martinez, 31; and Luis Pocasangre-Cardoza, 34.
More than $28,000, more than 20 pounds of methamphetamine, and weapons were confiscated.
Investigators say these busts are a major blow to the drug industry not only here in Central Texas but states across the country.
"When you take down an organization like this and when you disrupt it, and put them in federal prison for 20 years or life you're benefiting everybody who is up stream of that it's Dallas, Chicago, and points beyond," said Robert Pittman.
In March, the Texas Department of Public issued a report saying that six of the eight top drug cartels in Mexico have operation networks in Texas, And Acevedo at the time said the growing influence of the cartels was adding to the strain of his department.
"A lot of the violence, all of our violent crime, is really driven by the drug trade," said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. "We are focusing on trying to find and identify the heads of those organizations."
The suspects in these two separate raids all face charges that include conspiracy with intent to distribute an illegal controlled substance.
Based on those charges from a grand jury mean they will face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in jail and a sentence of up to life in federal prison.
Light snow flurries were reported early Saturday just north of the KXAN viewing area. Sub-freezing temperatures along with a slight chance of light snow, sleet and freezing rain will continue through Sunday morning.
Investigators are still trying to figure out who murdered an Austin teacher in Benghazi on Thursday.
Back in June, Governor Rick Perry signed a new law officially letting teachers and students use greetings such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah" in school, all without getting in any trouble.
The Round Rock-based computer giant, Dell Inc., is offering some workers voluntary buyouts as it seeks to trim costs and boost productivity.
The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
Sub-freezing temperatures and an approaching upper level disturbance could combine to produce some patchy freezing drizzle or sleet Saturday and early Sunday morning.