Police in Spain have arrested a local councilwoman from the right-wing Vox party on suspicion of leading a drug trafficking network.
Officers arrested Ana Gonzalez Martinez, her husband, and two others in a National Police operation launched last week.
Gonzalez – a councillor for Parla, a municipality near Madrid with 130,577 inhabitants – and her husband have been remanded in custody.
They are being investigated for drug trafficking, money laundering, and electricity fraud.
Two others were arrested in the same operation on suspicion of the same crimes but were released on bail, according to local media.
During searches, including at the couple’s residence, officers seized several bladed weapons and firearms, including two rifles and a pistol.
They also seized unspecified quantities of cocaine and marijuana, as well as cash.
At the couple’s home in Yeles, Todelo Province, officers found evidence of a recently-dismantled marijuana grow operation with at least 5,000 plants.
They found that the couple had also apparently manipulated their electricity meter to give fraudulent readings.
The residence had fortified doors, guard dogs, as well as video surveillance and transmission systems in an apparent bid to evade being busted by the police.
Investigators believe that Gonzalez’s husband – who has not been named in reports – was the mastermind behind the operation.
They believe that he was responsible for adulterating, storing, and physically distributing the drugs from the residence.
They believe that Gonzalez carried out surveillance-related tasks and managed tasks related to the business entities through which they laundered their ill-gotten gains.
The investigation began last December when the authorities learned that the couple “carried out part of their social life in Parla, where they also distributed drugs”.
The couple “had several business entities that allowed them to appear normal, concealing their illicit activity”.
That activity, according to the police, involved “acquiring cocaine” and providing it to other drug traffickers.
Those drug traffickers were responsible for “distributing it to small points in Madrid and Toledo”.
According to the police, they sold drugs “at any time of the day and every day of the week to various locations in the capital, as well as to other towns in Madrid and Toledo”.
Gonzalez has since renounced her candidacy from upcoming elections at the request of Vox’s mayoral candidate for Parla, Juan Marcos Manrique Lopez.
She was the number three candidate on the party’s electoral list for the municipal elections on 28th May.
The leader of Vox’s Madrid branch, Rocio Monasterio, has said: “First of all, presumption of innocence. And secondly, if what they say is confirmed, I hope she resigns and gives up her seat.”
And Congress of Deputies and Madrid City Council member Javier Ortega Smith, also of Vox, has said: “If there are responsible individuals, let the full weight of the law fall upon them.”
Gonzalez’s biography on Parla City Hall’s website reads: “Born on July 9, 1985. Resident of Parla. Holds a diploma in Business Sciences from Carlos III University. Master’s degree in Business Management and Administration (Bureau Veritas) and Master’s degree in Human Resources Management and Administration (Bureau Veritas). Higher Technician in Quality Management Systems (SCS Servicios Integrales, CB). Languages: English. Completed courses in Environmental Awareness and Sensitisation, Dimensional Verification, Internal Audit of Quality Management Systems, Financial Audit, Risk Prevention in the Metal Sector, Aeronautical Verification, and Production Planning and Control.
“After completing paid internships at Bankia, she worked at Caixa Destalvis Del Penedes, performing commercial and teller duties at the branch. Currently, she combines her position as a councilwoman at the Parla City Council with her role as the Head of Quality, Human Resources, and Purchasing at Mecanizados Flomar S.L.”