San Marcos

A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted five men on drug charges in connection with a May 24 "sting" in San Marcos.

Agents of the U.S. Customs Service and Drug Enforcement Administration posed as Mexican drug suppliers and accepted $484,000 from the five in exchange for 750 pounds of marijuana and 10 kilograms of cocaine, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Cynthia Lynne Millsaps.

Charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute were Robert Edmund Alspaugh, 41, of Carlsbad; Ronald Keith Petersen, 42, of Temecula; Salvador Valdez-Urias, 36, and Carlos Sigala-Romo, 31, both of Tijuana; and Robert Paul Hartley, 33, of Vista.

Petersen, Valdez-Urias and Sigala-Romo also were charged with conspiracy to possess 10 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute.

The suspects were being held in County Jail.

The sting, called "Operation Alliance," included three meetings between drug agents and the suspects over eight days, ending with the May 24 arrests at a San Marcos shopping center.

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