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2 Valley men arrested on heroin-distribution charges

Two men were arrested on charges of transporting and distributing heroin in PVC pipes, the Mesa Police Department said.

On Thursday, police were conducting surveillance on suspected drug dealers Cruz Alarcon-Lozano and Jorge Gutierez at a home located at 4037 E. Contessa in Mesa.

Gutierez was seen leaving the house in a vehicle and police pulled him over after an alleged traffic violation. He gave them consent to search the vehicle and police found a 5.5-foot PVC pipe with capped ends that was filled with heroin.

“Not only did the driver have the large amount of heroin in the backseat of the car, he also had his 4-month-old daughter in the backseat of the car, sitting right next to the heroin,” said Mesa Police Det. Steve Berry. “Fortunately, she was in a car seat.”

Gutierez was taken into custody on several drug and child-endangerment charges. The girl is in the care of Gutierez’s.

About the same time Gutierez was being arrested, Alarcon-Lozano was seen exiting the house on Contessa. Police followed him and observed him allegedly tossing a heroin-filled PVC pipe into the bushes of a vacant residence.

Alarcon-Lozano was stopped a short distance later and arrested on drug charges.

In total, police recovered 10.2 pounds of heroin and four pounds of methamphetamine, including the drugs found in the pipes and through a search warrant related to the traffic stops.

The drugs have an estimated street value of $425,000.