California Department of Justice (DOJ) special agents led the way with a team of law enforcement agencies to put a major dent in a multi-state drug trafficking ring based in Tulare County.
The lengthy investigation resulted in the arrests of 11 suspects, and the seizure of $268,775 in cash, 56 lbs. of methamphetamine, 4 kilograms of cocaine, nearly 1,000 marijuana plants and one vehicle.
"This investigation dates back to last summer, with arrests along the way, and clearly illustrates the need for additional special agents to take down transnational drug traffickers," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) which represents DOJ special agents.
“My California Department of Justice Task Force worked closely with local, state and federal law enforcement officials throughout the Central Valley to dismantle the Magana organization," said Attorney General Kamala Harris. "Our success shows the pressing need for more collaboration and funding to fight transnational drug trafficking in California.”
Arrested in Tulare County:
- Jose Magana, Manuel Munoz and Juan Parra on March 4, 2014
- John DeWayne Young on November 10, 2013
- Ana Valero on March 11, 2014
Arrested in Riverside County:
- Erwin Alva, Rosemary Alvarez, Ernesto Carrillo and Christopher Pellegrin on March 4, 2014
They are charged with 13 felony counts including possession, transportation and sale of a controlled substance, prohibited possession of ammunition, and conspiracy.
Arrested in Jonesboro, Arkansas:
- Gerardo Campos-Cuin and Angel Pedraza-Cervantes on February 13, 2014
Both are charged with one count of felony possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
The investigation into Jose Magana for suspected marijuana trafficking revealed that Magana and members of his organization were allegedly trafficking narcotics including methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico through the Central Valley of California to be sold as far away as Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania. Agents also discovered that Magana and his organization were supplying narcotics to a Nuestra Familia-affiliated street gang operating in Kings County.
The announcement of these arrests and seizure was delayed due to the ongoing nature of the investigation which was initiated by the California Attorney General’s Central Valley Marijuana Investigation Team and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. Later in the investigation, the Attorney General’s Tulare County Agencies Regional Gang Enforcement Team task force also assisted with the investigation.
The California Attorney General’s task forces were assisted in this investigation by the following participating agencies: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, U.S. Forest Service, Internal Revenue Service, Bureau of Land Management, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California National Guard, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Kings County Gang Task Force, Kings County Sheriff’s Office, Tulare County District Attorney’s Office and Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.