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Sunday, July 21st, 2024

Law enforcement seizes methamphetamine, fentanyl, and more, charges 47 in alleged drug trafficking ring

© U.S. Department of Justice

Raids in California this week culminated in charges against 47 alleged members of a Sinaloa Cartel-linked drug trafficking network and the seizure of more than 4 kilograms of fentanyl, 324 kilograms of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroine and dozens of firearms.

More than 400 federal, state and local law enforcement officials participated in the coordinated effort, which yielded 14 indictments in all. Another 11 fugitives remain free, but authorities are actually searching for them. Among those arrested was Alexander Grindley – a border patrol agent authorities accused of using his office to traffic. The crimes included in the overall indictments included drug trafficking, money laundering, and gun-related offenses, against defendants reportedly operating throughout the Imperial Valley.

“With this takedown, the Justice Department has dealt yet another blow to the Sinaloa Cartel and its associates,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. “I am grateful to the more than 400 law enforcement officers whose work in this operation resulted in dozens of arrests, charges against 47 defendants, and the seizure of firearms, meth, cocaine, heroin, and two million potentially lethal doses of fentanyl. We will continue to be relentless in our fight to protect American communities from the cartels.”

The network here was reportedly extensive, including swaps of methamphetamine for ghost guns – guns with no identifying serial markings or numbers – among others. Investigations spanned years, and included wiretaps, in addition to the recent searches and seizures.

“This investigation tore apart a drug trafficking network responsible for supplying dealers in communities across the region,” U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath for the Southern District of California said. “But there is still much work to be done. If you’re a parent and today’s price of fentanyl terrifies you, talk to your kids about the dangers of drug use. If you’re an addict and your dealer was arrested today, seek treatment. And if you’re a dealer but your supplier was arrested today, look out – we are coming for you next.”

The prosecution was part of a larger Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation, dedicated to identifying, disrupting and dismantling drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations.