When California Department of Justice (DOJ) task forces set out to take down a transnational criminal organization in Contra Costa County they dubbed their investigation Operation Road Trip.
Operation Road Trip is the merger of two long-term investigations in which agents discovered methamphetamine from Mexico was being delivered to the Nitro gang in Southern California. The Nitro gang would make regular “road trips” to Contra Costa County to distribute the meth to other drug trafficking gangs.
On October 20, 2014, Attorney General Kamala Harris announced, that over the past year, Operation Road Trip resulted in the service of 16 search warrants, the seizure of 500 pounds of methamphetamine, 1 firearm, 4 vehicles, $723,635 in U.S. Currency and the arrests of 22 individuals for drug and firearms related violations.
“These undercover operations are lengthy and put DOJ special agents in the very thick of harm’s way,” said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). “There’s no question there’s a monumental amount of drug trafficking from Mexico to California and our CSLEA members who are DOJ special agents often lead the way in taking down these operations. These investigations were nothing short of an exemplary job.”
Over the past six years, these investigations, which were led by California Department of Justice task forces that include federal, state and local law enforcement partners, have to date, resulted in 67 arrests and the seizure of $40 million of methamphetamine and $1.82 million in U.S. Currency.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Harris announced that the California Department of Justice will create a new anti-methamphetamine team of Special Agents based in Los Angeles funded by a $1 million federal grant. The team will be comprised of six Special Agents assigned to investigate illicit activities related to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine in California and will work in a coordinated effort with the other 18 existing California Department of Justice task forces.