A major drug bust has occurred in the valley – and a Chandler mother and her eight sons are suspected of smuggling heroin into Arizona from Mexico.
Police said the mother, Grace Valencia Lara, and her sons were allegedly selling heroin and cocaine in downtown Chandler.
"Our investigators learned, this family was a part of a larger organization," said Chandler Police Det. Seth Tyler.
While investigating the family, they stumbled on a much bigger drug ring.
Police have arrested six of the brothers and said they think they were the bridge to smuggling drugs much further away than Chandler.
"There's probably good likelihood the drugs originated in Mexico from one of the cartels," said Det. Tyler.
Police said the Valencia Lara family was on their radar. They had been called to the house for domestic violence and other crimes.
Authorities seized 30 pounds of heroin, along with cocaine and a small amount of marijuana.
The drugs are worth $1.75 million.
Police said at least 40 people were arrested and are facing drug and gang-related charges. They are street and prison gang members, along with criminals from the illegal drug distribution trade.
The drug ring has been under investigation for a year, but it's believed that it had been operating for two to five years.
Other suspects were allegedly smuggling drugs into state prisons, along with distributing them throughout the valley.
This means local street gangs who sold drugs in the valley somehow managed to infiltrate the state prison system and sell drugs to inmates.
Authorities are calling this bust "a significant dent in the heroin and cocaine trade."
Chandler police, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Corrections, the state Gang Task Force and the Attorney General's Office worked as a team on the investigation.