DEA breaks up San Diego cross-border drug smuggling ring
As part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) “Project Delirium” San Diego agents arrested 24 suspected cross-border drug traffickers.
Those arrested were in procession of hundreds of pounds of illegal drugs and authorities said the smugglers belonged to brutal Mexican drug cartels.
The suspected traffickers were transporting large quantities of methamphetamine and other controlled substances into San Diego County. The seizure of the drugs prevented them from being distributed across the U.S., said William R. Sherman, acting special agent-in-charge of the San Diego DEA.
“When you take the arrests made here in San Diego and couple them with the coordinated nationwide effort this week against this violent organization, you see that we have disrupted their whole distribution chain, from the street seller to the middle man to the leaders of the organization in Mexico,” Sherman said.
The agents in San Diego seized more than 200 pounds of meth, 200 pounds of marijuana, one pound of cocaine and three pounds of heroin, Sherman said.
Today, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office filed multiple charges against 12 suspects for possession of methamphetamine, transport of drugs and hiring an under-aged minor to transport controlled substances.
The biggest offenders snagged in the DEA raid included; Francisco Saucedo, 46, Mayra Arroyo, 24, and Roberto Buenrostro Duran, 23, -all pleaded not guilty to the drug charges and held on $500,000 bond.
One search warrant recovered more than 18 pounds of crystal meth buried in the backyard of Arroyo. In another arrest agents nabbed Buenrostro transporting a backpack filled methamphetamine during a traffic stop.
Deputy District Attorney Allison Fomon said her office arraigned three other defendants on Friday and the rest will face a judge later in the week.
The prosecutor said the suspects face just five to eight years of jail time if convicted.
Officials said the year-and-a-half long sting targeted suspects in America with ties to the vicious Mexican drug trafficking organization La Familia, located in Michoacan, Mexico.
Last week federal authorities reported the U.S. arrested 1,980 perpetrators and seized $60 million in cash. The agents also confiscated nearly 2,770 pounds of methamphetamine, 6,000 pounds of cocaine, 1,000 pounds of heroin, 14,000 pounds of marijuana and $3.8 million in assets.
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