TULARE COUNTY – Authorities busted 11 people who were part of an international drug-trafficking ring based out of Tulare County.
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced that authorities arrested 11 people, seized 56 pounds of methamphetamine, four kilograms of cocaine, 942 marijuana plants, one vehicle and nearly $269,000 in cash as part of an investigation that started last summer.
At the time, agents of the state Department of Justice task force suspected that Jose Magana, 33, was involved in marijuana trafficking out of Dinuba. Investigators then learned that his organization had a drug-distributing business that stretched more than 3,000 miles to the Eastern seabord and was raking in a lot of cash.
The group worked with street gangs to smuggle methamphetamine and cocaine through San Diego to the Central Valley, and then distribute it to states like Arkansas and New York, Harris said.
Magana and four others – Manuel Munoz, Juan Parra, John DeWayne Young and Ana Valero – were arrested in Tulare County during a four-month period. Four suspects – Erwin Alva, Rosemary Alvarez, Ernesto Carrillo and Christopher Pellegrin – were arrested in March in Riverside County. These nine suspects are being held in Tulare County jail on charges of transportation and sale of a controlled substance and prohibited possession of ammunition.
Two more suspects – Gerardo Campos-Cuin and Angel Pedraza-Cervantes – were arrested two months ago in Arkansas. They are in jail in Arkansas facing charges of one count of felony possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Harris said she was proud to say that “in this case we got the top guy of this organization.”
“Our success shows the pressing need for more collaboration and funding to fight transnational drug trafficking in California,” Harris said.
Fresno Bee: Authorities team up to take down big Tulare County drug ring
Times Delta: AG announces major Tulare County drug bust