Drug seizure

Fontana Police Department personnel played a key role in helping the Drug Enforcement Administration make the largest domestic seizure of crystal methamphetamine in the agency's history.  (Contributed photo illustration by Fontana Police Department)

Fontana Police Department personnel played a key role in helping the Drug Enforcement Administration make the largest domestic seizure of crystal methamphetamine in the agency's history.

At a press conference on Oct. 14, DEA Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea and Los Angeles Field Division Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner announced the seizure of 893 pounds of cocaine, 13 pounds of heroin, and 2,224 pounds of crystal methamphetamine.

In June, the Los Angeles Field Division of a DEA task-force (which Fontana P.D. narcotics detectives belong to) began investigating a large-scale drug trafficking organization (DTO) with ties to the Sinaloa Cartel involved in the transportation and delivery of large quantities of cocaine and crystal methamphetamine. During the investigation, agents identified a Southern California-based narcotics courier/stash house manager along with multiple locations and vehicles associated with the courier and the DTO.

On Oct. 2, through investigative means, agents and Fontana P.D. investigators established surveillance on the courier’s residence. The investigators observed the target and a secondary associate load two duffle bags into a vehicle and leave the location.

The courier target and the associate ultimately met with a third associate at a Sam’s Club parking lot in Moreno Valley, where they unloaded and delivered the two duffle bags to the third associate. During that time, investigators detained the courier target and the two other associates in the parking lot for questioning, and they were later released.

Based upon the investigation and locations previously identified, a Fontana P.D. Task Force officer authored state search warrants for multiple locations, including the courier target’s residence and a narcotics stash house within the city of Perris.

The Fontana P.D. Narcotics Unit, Gang Unit, and Rapid Response Team executed multiple search warrants. Officers located about 25 duffle bags within the garage of the residence containing about 406 kilograms of cocaine, six kilograms of heroin, and 650 pounds of crystal methamphetamine.

Additionally, during a search of the narcotics stash house in Perris, agents located approximately 1,600 pounds of crystal methamphetamine.

This is an ongoing investigation.

“The largest DEA domestic seizure of methamphetamine in history is a significant blow to the cartels, but more importantly it is a gigantic victory for communities throughout Southern California and the United States who have had to deal with the torrent of methamphetamine coming into their neighborhoods,” said Shea. “We continue to work with our state and local partners to attack drug trafficking at all levels, and this seizure sends a clear message that we mean business.”

With an estimated wholesale value of these narcotics at $19.5 million and an estimated street value of $58 million, these drug trafficking organizations will be impacted in their day to day operations, authorities said.

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