Three men suspected of selling cocaine around Novato were arrested in an undercover investigation by county drug detectives, a sheriff's official said.

Antonio Gonzalez, 32, and Jose Mendoza, 38, both of Novato, and Juan Garibay, 30, of Richmond are being held at Marin County Jail on suspicion of drug crimes and conspiracy. Bail is set at $20,000 each.

The suspects were arrested last week after an investigation by the county's multiagency drug unit, the Marin County Major Crimes Task Force. The drug squad developed information that Gonzalez was selling cocaine at various locations in Novato, so it sent an undercover detective out to buy drugs from him, said sheriff's Sgt. Pierre Ahuncain.

The detective bought cocaine on five occasions, and the investigation led to two suspected drug sources, Mendoza and Garibay, Ahuncain said. Investigators obtained search warrants for the suspects and their homes and seized additional suspected cocaine.

Gonzalez and Garibay were arrested in the shopping center at 1535 S. Novato Blvd. Mendoza was stopped in traffic.

All three suspects have pleaded not guilty and return to court Jan. 16 for further hearings.

Contact Gary Klien via email at gklien@marinij.com

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©2013 The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.)

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