News Release
December 6, 2007
Contact: Dan Simmons
(858) 616-4166

Three-Year Undercover Investigation Leads to Nationwide Drug Bust, More Than 100 Charged Prosecutors Say San Diego Was Operation’s
“Ground Zero”

192 pounds of cocaine seized as part of the operation.
192 pounds of cocaine seized as part of the operation.

DEC 6 -- (San Diego, CA) - Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent-in-Charge Ralph Partridge and San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis today announced the culmination of Operation Funk 49, a three-year undercover investigation targeting an international drug trafficking operation originating in Guadalajara, Mexico with a vast distribution network based in San Diego County.

“This operation has dismantled a nationwide drug trafficking organization that had gained a foot-hold in San Diego County,” said DA Dumanis. “It’s another excellent example of cooperation between law enforcement agencies at the county, state and federal level.”

Operation Funk 49 began in April 2004, after a tip to law enforcement from a low-level drug user. Investigators followed the drug trail to key distributors in San Diego. During the three-year undercover operation, law enforcement eventually targeted dozens of suspects and continued to patiently follow the complicated drug distribution web to cities across the country.

192 pounds of cocaine seized as part of the operation. 192 pounds of cocaine seized as part of the operation.

“Our Special Agents in conjunction with other law enforcement personnel were tireless in their efforts as they pursued this drug ring across the country,” said DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Ralph Partridge. “The arrests and seizures are the results of a combined effort of multiple county, state and federal law enforcements agencies. Successes like Operation Funk 49 are making an impact in our communities nationwide.”

The drug organization smuggled large quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin from Guadalajara, Mexico, through Tijuana, Mexico into the United States. From there, it was distributed throughout San Diego County and onto cities including San Francisco, Anaheim, Riverside, Yakima, Detroit, Atlanta, New York, and Greensboro, North Carolina.

In San Diego County, more than a dozen warrants were issued, resulting in the arrests of 59 individuals and the confiscation of two pounds of heroin, 1,246 pounds of cocaine, and 604 pounds of methamphetamine. In addition, law enforcement officials confiscated more than $9.1 million in cash, 28 vehicles and several weapons. Charges filed against the defendants include drug smuggling, drug trafficking, conspiracy and probation/parole violations. Due to the length of the investigation, some defendants have already been prosecuted, some have been arraigned, and arrest warrants have been issued for the remainder.

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