Ilocos lawmen dismantle illegal drug group

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, Nov. 26 (PIA) - - Police operatives have dismantled a notorious illegal drug group operating in Region 1 in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union on Wednesday.


During the operation, the policemen arrested the suspected group’s leader identified as Christian Casugay Rivera, 29; and his three companions identified as Harvey Munar Singson, 40; Medrick Arafiles Dela Cruz, 21; and Michelle Leria Luken, 23.


Recovered from the suspects were one-piece plastic sachet containing suspected shabu; one piece genuine 1,000 peso bill (marked money); two Uzi firearms; one hand grenade; four caliber .22 pistols loaded with magazines and bullets; two caliber .45  pistols loaded with magazines and ammunition; one replica of Magnum 375 revolver; assorted magazines and live ammunition; three handheld radio; six cellphones; 21 pieces heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu with an estimated weight of 20 grams; digital weighing scale and different drug paraphernalia. Based on the Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) standard, the recovered suspected shabu had an estimated value of Php 136,000.00.


The lawmen also recovered the following items from the place of the incident: one caliber .9 mm Taurus pistol loaded with 6 bullets; four cartridge cases of .9mm pistol; five fired cartridge cases for caliber 5.56; and 1 deformed fired bullet.


Police Captain Gerardo M. Macaraeg Jr., the chief of police of San Juan, La Union, said the suspects were cornered when the lawmen conducting a buy-bust operation and serving the Warrant of Arrest under Criminal Case No. 13725 issued by Judge Victor O Conception of RTC Branch 66, San Fernando City, La Union against Christian C. Rivera for Violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act 9165.


Rivera, who was identified as the leader of Rivera Drug Group operating in Region 1, had been a subject for manhunt operations due to his reported involvement in the illegal drug trade and other criminal offenses.


During the implementation of the Warrant of Arrest, according to Macaraeg, one of the suspects identified as Harvey M. Singson fired upon the arresting team prompting the operatives to fire back. However, no one was hurt during the exchange of gunfires.


The arrested drug personalities and the recovered items from the place of the incident are now under the custody of the San Juan Police Station.


“Appropriate charges against the suspects are now being prepared for filing in court,” said Macaraeg.


Meanwhile, Police Brigadier General Rodolfo S Azurin Jr., the regional director of Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1), lauded the efforts of the local policemen in La Union for the successful dismantling of one of the notorious illegal drug groups operating in the region.


Azurin said the accomplishment is in line with the standing order of the PNP Chief Police General Debold M Sinas to focus on revitalized police operations on anti-illegal drugs through the arrest of high-value targets or individuals including their associates and networks


“Let us continuously sustain the momentum on the intensified campaign against illegal drugs and bring this campaign successful for our community people whom we are sworn to serve and protect,” said Azurin in a press statement. (JCR/FGL, PIA 1)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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