Federal agents arrested three people last week in “what is believed to be the largest single seizure of cash, narcotics and ammunition” in the Southern District of California.
The arrests and seizures were made on November 20 at an undisclosed truck yard in San Diego, California, following a years-long investigation into associates of the Sinaloa Cartel conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, San Diego Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.
During the raid, agents say that they seized approximately $3.5 million in bulk U.S. currency, 685 kilograms of cocaine, 24 kilograms of fentanyl, and approximately 20,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition and hundreds of body armor vests from the truck yard.
Jesus Burgos Arias, 32, Juan Alatorre Venegas, 44, and Jose Yee Perez, 54, all Mexican nationals, were placed under arrest and charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance.
The arrest and seizures come following an investigation that began in 2011 and “evolved into a massive multi-national, multi-state probe that resulted in scores of arrests and seizures of 1,397 kilograms of methamphetamine, 2,214 kilograms of cocaine, 17.2 tons of marijuana, 95.84 kilograms of heroin, and $27,892,706 in narcotics proceeds.”
“Thanks to the collaborative work with our state and federal law enforcement partners, we are able to announce this blow to the Mexican Cartels operating in San Diego,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery. “We are further encouraged that we were able to separate them from their dangerous .50 caliber ammunition and over $3 million in drug proceeds that they have gained through selling death here in our community and throughout the US.”
If convicted, the three suspects face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison in addition to a $10 million fine.