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Family of 14 arrested for drug trafficking in Brazil
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09:58, February 11, 2009

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Brazilian police arrested on Tuesday 14 people from one family, including a 75-year-old woman and a 10-year-old boy, on suspicion of drug trafficking, in southeastern Minas Gerais state.

The so-called "Mira Family" was the major drug trafficking suspect gang in the Jequitinhonha Valley, in the north part of the state, said Alberto Tadeu de Oliveira, the local police chief.

A two-month investigation showed the family operated in the region for at least four years.

The leader of the gang was identified as Mauricio Marcos da Silva, whose parents, siblings, in-laws and nephews were also involved in the illegal trade, police said.

Silva's mother, 75-year-old Maria da Silva, and his youngest nephew, aged 10, were responsible for delivering drugs to clients. Silva's father and one of his brothers, Jose Marcos da Silva, had already been arrested for drug traffic.

The gang was arrested when they were receiving about 88,800 U.S. dollars' worth of marijuana and crack, coming from Salvador, in neighboring Bahia state, police said.

The accused have been taken to local jail. They will be charged with drug trafficking. The 10-year-old boy was taken to the Child Protective Services Department.


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