2,224 pounds of meth, 893lbs cocaine 13 lbs heroin tied to Sinaloa cartel seized in California – largest haul in DEA history

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 Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat  TY Borderland Beat Follower  DEA-LA

DEA Acting Administrator Timothy
J. Shea and local law enforcement officials announce the largest domestic
seizure of methamphetamine in DEA history

LOS ANGELES – At a press
conference today, DEA Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea and Los Angeles
Field Division Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner announced the seizure of 893
pounds of cocaine, 13 pounds of heroin, and 2,224 pounds of crystal
methamphetamine, which is the largest domestic seizure of crystal
methamphetamine in DEA history. 

In June 2020, the Los Angeles
Field Division, Southwest Border Group 2, began investigating a large-scale
drug trafficking organization with ties to the Sinaloa Cartel involved in the
transportation and delivery of large quantities of cocaine and crystal
methamphetamine.  During the course of
the investigation, agents identified a Southern California-based narcotics
courier/stash house manager along with multiple locations and vehicles
associated with the courier and the DTO.

On October 2, 2020, through
investigative means, agents and Fontana Police Department investigators
established surveillance on the courier’s residence.  During surveillance, Fontana Police
Department investigators observed the target and a secondary associate load two
duffle bags into a vehicle and leave the location.  The courier target and the associate
ultimately met with a third associate at a Sam’s Club parking lot in the city
of Moreno Valley where they unloaded and delivered the two duffle bags to the
third associate.  During that time,
investigators detained the courier target and the two other associates in the
parking lot for questioning and they were later released.

Based upon the investigation and
locations previously identified, agents authored state search warrants for
multiple locations, including the courier target’s residence and a narcotics
stash house within the city of Perris. 
During a search of the courier’s residence, agents located approximately
25 duffle bags within the garage of the residence containing approximately 406
kilograms of cocaine, six kilograms of heroin, and 650 pounds of crystal
methamphetamine.

Additionally, during a search of
the narcotics stash house in Perris, agents located approximately 1,600 pounds
of crystal methamphetamine.  This is an
ongoing investigation.

“The largest DEA domestic seizure
of methamphetamine in history is a significant blow to the cartels, but more
importantly it is a gigantic victory for communities throughout Southern
California and the United States who have had to deal with the torrent of
methamphetamine coming into their neighborhoods,” said Acting Administrator
Shea. “We continue to work with our state and local partners to attack drug
trafficking at all levels and this seizure sends a clear message that we mean
business.”

“Los Angeles is the major
transshipment hub for Mexican cartels trafficking illicit drugs across our
southwest border,” said Special Agent in Charge Bodner. “Successful seizures
like these save lives and reduce the exploitation and victimization of our
local communities.”

“The significant seizures
announced today thwarted drug traffickers’ plans to profit from these dangerous
drugs that cause incredible harm to our communities,” said Acting Assistant
Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.  “The Justice Department is committed to
making our neighborhoods safer by aggressively disrupting drug cartel
operations in the United States.”

Participating law enforcement
partners include the Southwest Border Group 2 – including the South Gate Police
Department, Simi Valley Police Department, Huntington Park Police Department,
Glendora Police Department, Downey Police Department, El Monte Police
Department, Irwindale Police Department, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s
Office, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – and the Criminal
Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section of the U.S. Department of
Justice.

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