Contact: DEA RAC Douglas Lamplugh (330) 740-7000
International Drug Investigation "Operation Trifecta" Has Warren, Ohio Connection
July 31--Warren, Ohio- On July 31, 2003, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and Gary Oetjen, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Chief John Mandopoulos of the Warren, Ohio Police Department announced the culmination of "Operation Trifecta"in the Mahoning Valley Ohio area. "Operation Trifecta" was a three- year international narcotics investigation directed at the Ismael Zambada-Garcia Organization (ZGO), one of the largest and most powerful Mexican drug cartels operating in Mexico and the United States. The ZGO was responsible for the distribution of thousands of kilograms of cocaine and marijuana distributed throughout the United States. The organization has also demonstrated its propensity to violence resulting in numerous drug- related homicides.
This investigation identified an organization "cell" operating in Warren, Ohio that was responsible for transferring large amounts of drug money from New York drug sales back to the Southwest border and orchestrating drug shipments from the Southwest border through Warren, Ohio en-route to the Buffalo, New York area. The organization transported cocaine and marijuana through Warren with portions of these shipments being provided to the distributors locally for sale in the Mahoning Valley area. During this investigation, over $1.5 million dollars was seized in addition to 443 kilograms of cocaine.
In the early morning hours of 7/31/03, Agents of the DEA Task Force executed three federal search warrants at the following locations and had federal arrest warrants for the residents:
Enforcement actions by DEA Task Forces also took place in San Diego, CA and Tucson, AZ pursuant to this investigation.
Other Agencies involved
in this investigation include: