Tags: southern california | drug | raids | cartel

SoCal Drug Raids Hit Cartel's Amazon-Like Distribution

Image: SoCal Drug Raids Hit Cartel's Amazon-Like Distribution
Southern California drug raids this week hit the notorious Sinaloa cartel. (FBI)

By    |   Thursday, 09 August 2018 10:31 AM

Southern California drug raids this week hit the notorious Sinaloa cartel and uncovered it's Amazon-like chain of distribution that directed hundreds of pounds of narcotics over the border and into the U.S., The Los Angeles Times noted.

Investigations exposed how the powerful Mexican drug organization used a vast network of "stash houses" and warehouses to funnel massive amounts of drugs, using vehicles with special concealed compartments to hide the contraband, as well as small aircrafts in a bid to avoid detection at the U.S. border.

Twenty people were arrested Wednesday and the task force is looking for eight fugitives, KTLA noted.

Investigations ultimately led to 57 indictments.

The defendants reportedly received the narcotics from the cartel in northern Mexico and smuggled them into Los Angeles, where they then distributed the drugs to Arizona, Kansas, Minnesota and New York.

They would then return the proceeds to Mexico, said Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI's L.A. field office, according to KTLA.

Among the drugs seized was around 850 pounds of methamphetamine, 93 pounds of heroin, 50 pounds of marijuana, nearly a ton of cocaine, The Los Angeles Times said.

Additionally, approximately $1.42 million in drug money was seized in the operation.

Those indicted could face a minimum of 10 years in prison, with some facing life behind bars, KTLA said.

"This effort was the culmination of a three-year investigation targeting multiple drug trafficking organizations involved in the transportation of bulk quantities of drugs from Mexico to the Los Angeles area and other cities throughout the United States," Delacourt said, according to The Orange County Register.

Authorities said the arrests would have an immediate impact on cartel operations in the region and, with significant figures in the Mexican drug operations now identified, they could crack down on other significant role players in the drug organization, The Los Angeles Times noted.

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman previously ran the cartel but was extradited to the U.S. in 2017 on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.

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Drug raids in Southern California yielded 20 arrests and uncovered the Sinaloa cartel's Amazon-like chain of distribution that directed hundreds of pounds of narcotics over the border and into the U.S.
southern california, drug, raids, cartel
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2018-31-09
Thursday, 09 August 2018 10:31 AM
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