News Release
December 7, 2007

Operation Yields Cache Of Drugs and Money
Bay Area Cell Connected to Organizations Operating in Southern CA to Atlanta, GA

DEC 7 -- (SAN JOSE, CA) – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Pena, and Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr, announce today the conclusion of an eighteen month long investigation into a South Bay Area drug trafficking cell connected to a organization with ties to Mexico. As a result of the DEA San Jose investigation law enforcement seized approximately 23 pounds of ice methamphetamine, 9 kilograms of cocaine, 1 shotgun, 5 vehicles and over $500,000 US Currency.

“This drug trafficking cell was responsible for the transfer of large sums of cash in exchange for substantial amounts of ice methamphetamine and cocaine for distribution in the Bay Area. This combined enforcement effort clearly demonstrates our commitment to dismantle these cells and disrupt drug trafficking organizations at their highest levels,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Pena.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr stated, “The massive amount of drug activity in this case poses a significant threat to the safety of the public, including residents of Santa Clara County. The collaborative effort of many different agencies in investigating and apprehending these suspects allows us to improve and maintain public safety, while at the same time, tackling the drug problem head-on.”

The case began in Spring 2006, when agents learned of a drug trafficking cell, allegedly led by Antonio Abarca, of Menlo Park, CA. Agents believe that this Bay Area based cell is connected to organizations operating in Southern California all the way to Atlanta, Georgia. These organizations allegedly have ties to Mexico. During the course of the investigation law enforcement seized approximately 23 lbs of ice methamphetamine, 8 kilograms cocaine and $418,000 US Currency. The investigation culminated on December 6, 2007, when approximately 100 federal, state and local law enforcement officers joined forces to serve six state authorized search warrants and arrest warrants. All warrants were served without incident. As a result of the searches related to the San Jose investigation agents seized approximately 1 kilogram cocaine, a diamond ring, almost $100,000 US Currency, a 1967 Corvette, a 2007 Cadillac Escalade, a 2004 Range Rover, a 2008 Ford F450 truck and a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse.

Searches were conducted at the following locations:

  • 600 Block of Hamilton Ave., Menlo Park, CA
  • 800 Block of San Vicente Court, Morgan Hill, CA
  • 13300 Block of Harding Ave., San Martin, CA
  • 1000 Block of Glithero Court, San Jose, CA
  • 300 Block of North Dakota Ave., Modesto, CA
  • 1000 Block of Crothers Rd., San Jose, CA

The following individuals were arrested on various state narcotics laws violations

  • Roberto Garcia, 63, of San Jose, CA
  • Matilde Lopez, 28, of San Jose, CA
  • Luz Santa Reyes, 23, of San Jose, CA
  • Maria Reyna, 38, of Menlo Park, CA
  • Orlando Davison, 54, of San Martin, CA (charged with felon in possession of a firearm).

“Drugs jeopardize lives and foster crime and violence in our communities,” said Mark Wollman, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in San Francisco. “Our joint efforts have dismantled a smuggling organization that sought to reap profits at the expense of our quality of life. ICE will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to investigate these dangerous criminal schemes and bring those responsible to justice.”

The DEA estimates the street value of the drugs seized in this investigation to be approximately $1 million.

There are outstanding arrest warrants for the following individuals in relation to this investigation:

  • Antonio Contreras Abarca, 42, of Menlo Park, CA
  • Maria Castaneda, 51, of Hemet, CA
  • Raul Mendoza, 20, of Tracy, CA
  • Eric Jimenez Barragan, 22, of Riverbank, CA

This investigation was conducted with assistance from Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE), Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, San Jose Police Department, California Highway Patrol (CHP), DEA offices in San Diego Field, CA; Greensboro, NC; Modesto, CA; and Riverside, CA.

This case is being prosecuted by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. All defendants must be presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.