Sheriff: California inmate led Pasco meth ring

- Fifteen pounds of meth and cocaine are off the streets of Pasco County. Investigators say it all stems from one man thousands of miles away: Jesus Hernandez-Reynoso.

"While he's an inmate in California, he's in charge of a whole drug ring that's going on. We got information that's he's on a phone in prison for 18 hours a day conducting drug operations," Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said Tuesday.

The drug operations involved a dozen associates. Detectives say the drugs came from Mexico, were muled over by two people, and dispersed by 10 of Hernandez-Reynoso's employees.

"This is a business. Their business is killing people," Nocco said.

The Pasco investigation began in December of 2015, after they were tipped off by a confidential informant.  They say this ring was sophisticated and sly, sometimes using children's toys to smuggle drugs.

Through tedious police work, detectives were able to trace the drugs all the way back to the source. Thirteen people were arrested -- the most powerful of which, Hernandez-Reynoso, will be extradited to Pasco County once he completes his time in California.

The sheriff says it's a significant sting, curbing the supply of meth -- the number one street drug in the county.

"We made a major dent out there. We saved a lot of lives. There's a lot of mothers’ and fathers' kids out there who aren't able to get their supply and we hope they're turning around and asking for help," Nocco added.

Detectives believe the ring also may have operations ongoing in Alabama and Ohio.  The DEA is investigating.

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