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Three people face federal drug conspiracy charges after a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation this week turned up 13 pounds of meth hidden underneath a mobile home in northwest Lincoln and 2 pounds more in a home in Norfolk, according to court records.

Maribel Lizarraga, 47, and Jose Arnoldo Ramirez Jr., 27, both of Lincoln, and Christopher Harmeier, 41, of Norfolk, are charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.

The three made their first court appearance Friday in U.S. District Court in Omaha, where they were appointed attorneys.

The government didn't oppose Lizarraga and Ramirez being released while they await trial, but did ask to detain Harmeier.

In an affidavit filed in support of the complaint against all three, Jarrett Swearingen, a special agent with the DEA assigned to the Omaha office, alleged that a yearlong investigation uncovered evidence that Lizarraga had traveled at least three times to California and brought methamphetamine back to Lincoln, which she and Ramirez distributed in the Lincoln area and to Harmeier in Norfolk and to others.

Swearingen alleged that on Jan. 17, Lizarraga traveled from Lincoln to the East Los Angeles area, where agents believe she got methamphetamine before leaving 10 days later and returning to Lincoln.

On Jan. 28, a day after she got back to Lincoln, he said, Lizarraga and Ramirez drove to Harmeier’s home in Norfolk, where they allegedly delivered methamphetamine.

On Tuesday, agents served federal search warrants at Lizarraga’s home in Lincoln at 366 Blue Flame Road, at Ramirez’s home at 2030 N. 60th St., and at Harmeier’s at 1000 N. Seventh St. in Norfolk.

According to court records, they found: 13 pounds of meth hidden under the mobile home on Blue Flame Road, near North First and Adams streets; a large amount of cash at Ramirez’s home on North 60th Street near Leighton Avenue; and 2 pounds of methamphetamine and a large amount of cash at the Norfolk home.

The largest-known Lincoln-area meth bust involved 35 pounds of the drug, which was found inside a rented SUV that the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office stopped on Interstate 80 on June 7, 2017. Officials estimated the street value of those drugs at $1.5 million.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger.

Reporter

Lori Pilger is a public safety reporter.

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