Federal agents arrested three men in a Mesa apartment Wednesday afternoon, confiscating four handguns as well as a pound each of cocaine and methamphetamine, an official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.
The men, all illegal immigrants, had been using the apartment at 650 S. Country Club Drive as headquarters for a drug trafficking operation, said Tom Mangan, a spokesman for ATF.
Officials found scales, drug paraphernalia, plastic bags suspected of being used for packaging drugs, about $2,500 in cash and ledgers detailing financial aspects of the operation, he said.
ATF agents, assisted by Mesa and Chandler police, entered the residence at the Aspens Apartments on a search warrant about 12:30 p.m., Mangan said.
"We got information from a reliable source that these people were operating out of their residence," he said.
Federal charges against the men could result in stiffer penalties than state charges, Mangan said.
Booked into federal detention on suspicion of being armed narcotic traffickers and possession/distribution of a controlled substance were Julian Acosta Iride, 33, Ruiz Arturo Villa, 19, and Ur ibe Abelardo Sepulveda, 22.