On April 22nd, 2021

California DOJ-led Team Busts Large-Scale Drug Trafficking Operation in the Central Valley

SACRAMENTO – On April 22, 2021, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the results of a search warrant operation in Huntington Beach by the DOJ-led Merced Area Gang & Narcotic Enforcement Team (MAGNET) which led to the arrest of Luis Armando Romero Jr. of Turlock. Romero Jr. faces a one-count indictment charging him with distribution of methamphetamine based on an alleged sale in Merced County earlier this year.

In January, MAGNET began an investigation into the source of the supply of methamphetamine in Merced County. The investigation culminated in a search warrant operation on Romero Jr.’s Huntington Beach residence on April 6, 2021. During the search, agents seized approximately:

  • 280 pounds of methamphetamine,
  • 25 kilograms of cocaine,
  • 20 pounds of fentanyl pills,
  • three kilograms of fentanyl powder,
  • two pounds of heroin,
  • and more than $73,000 in U.S. currency.

The estimated street value of the drugs that were seized is over $10 million.

“Seizing that kind of quantity of drugs should put a huge dent in the drug trafficking that was taking place as a result of this man’s suspected activity,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.   “When teams of officers and agents from all levels of government come together in an investigation, they bring results that contribute to safer neighborhoods and communities.”

MAGNET agents were assisted during the operation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Huntington Beach Police Department. Romero Jr. was arrested during the search.

MAGNET is a multiagency taskforce led by DOJ that is federally funded through the national High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. It is comprised of members from the California Department of Justice, Merced County Sheriff’s Office, Merced Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Merced County Probation Department, Merced County District Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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