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$1.8 million in drugs seized, California trucking company accused of transporting drugs for cartel


A California-based trucking company has been the subject of a months-long, multiple agency investigation that has resulted in large drug seizures and multiple arrests.

On Thursday, the Salinas Police Department held a press conference to report on the results of “Operation Black Hawk,” a five-month investigation into the suspected drug trafficking of Salinas-based trucking company Nor Cal Transportation.

According to the Salinas Police Department, Nor Cal “is suspected of operating a drug trafficking organization (DTO) with the specific intent to transport and distribute narcotics between Yuma, Arizona and Salinas, California. During the investigations it was determined that, Nor Cal Transportation was directly connected to the Sinaloa Cartel and transporting narcotics in conjunction with Norteno gang leaders.”

Police have issued charges against eight people connected to the drug trafficking scheme. Charges include conspiracy to transport and distribute narcotics, firearms possession, gang enhancements, and conspiracy to commit murder.

Those arrested in connection to the Operation Black Hawk investigation include Everardo Rodriguez Duran, Brian David Duran, Guadalupe Duran, Juan Duran, Uriel Coronel Jesus Miranda Haros, Juan Carlos Magana, and Amaytani Nunez.

On September 9, the Salinas Police Department executed five search warrants and arrested four people. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Yuma executed four search warrants in Somerton and Yuma County, Arizona, and arrested two people.

After multiple warrants served and traffic stops performed during Operation Black Hawk, authorities seized 60 pounds of methamphetamine, 5 pounds of heroin, a pound and a half of cocaine and 25,000 Fentanyl pills. The estimated street value of the seized drugs is $1.8 million.

Police also seized 9 firearms, two bank accounts, a Nor Cal Transportation tractor trailer and approximately $90,000 in cash/cashier’s checks as suspected proceeds from illegal narcotics sales.

According to the Salinas Police Department, more than 170 law enforcement officers from various agencies participated in the execution of multiple search warrants connected to the investigation.

Agencies that assisted in the investigation include:

  • California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • California State Parole
  • Monterey County Sheriff’s Office
  • California Highway Patrol
  • Arizona Department of Public Safety
  • US Customs and Border Protection
  • San Benito County Sheriff’s Office
  • San Benito County Probation Department
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
  • Yuma County Sheriff’s Office
  • Yuma County Narcotics Task Force
  • Yuma Police Department

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