DEA Multi-Location Arrest Warrant Operation
Multiple Arrests Throughout Los Angeles and Riverside Counties
LOS ANGELES —Today, law enforcement investigators served nine arrest warrants in multiple locations throughout Los Angeles and Riverside Counties.
In March of 2020, the DEA launched Operation Crystal Shield to focus efforts on main U.S. methamphetamine trafficking transportation hubs. DEA identified eight major methamphetamine transportation hubs where Operation Crystal Shield efforts were concentrated: Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix, and St. Louis. Together, these DEA Field Divisions accounted for more than 75 percent of methamphetamine seized in the U.S. in 2019.
In furtherance of Operation Crystal Shield, the Los Angeles Field Division, Southwest Border Group 2, began investigating a large-scale drug trafficking organization with ties to the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), involved in the transportation and delivery of large quantities of crystal methamphetamine. During the course of the investigation, agents identified Southern California-based narcotics courier/stash house managers along with multiple locations associated with the courier and the drug trafficking organization. These U.S. based organizations have been responsible for distributing narcotics locally to other drug distributors and various couriers. Additionally, these local distribution networks are responsible for remitting bulk U.S. currency to Mexico sources of supply and involved in black market peso money laundering.
Since the inception of the investigation in December 2019, investigators have seized approximately $20,290,501 of narcotics proceeds, 3,555 pounds of methamphetamine, 2,118 kilograms of cocaine, and 69 kilograms of heroin.
Seven suspects out of the nine were taken into custody today on various narcotics trafficking charges. During today’s operation investigators seized 3 pounds of methamphetamine, 1 kilogram of heroin, approximately $50,000 in U.S. currency, 2 kilograms of cocaine, and 1 handgun.
Jose Angel Sanchez III, 40-years-old, from Banning, California (Riverside County)
Luz Maria Sanchez, 43-years-old- from Banning, California (Riverside County)
Anselmo Salvador Aguilar, 31-years-old, from Los Angeles, California (Los Angeles County)
Jose Chavez, 31-years-old, from Los Angeles, California (Los Angeles County)
David Cruz, 35-years-old, from Whittier, California (Los Angeles County)
Rogelio S. Naranjo, 44-years-old, from Long Beach, California (Los Angeles County)
Eduardo Nunez, 40-years-old from Los Angeles, California (Los Angeles County)
“Today, methamphetamine is more potent, pure and cheap,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner, Los Angeles Field Division. “Drug traffickers are saturating the community with this addictive drug and utilizing the Los Angeles area as a major transshipment hub to store and distribute their illicit drugs. These investigative efforts have resulted in huge quantities of methamphetamine being taken off the streets leading to safer and healthier communities.”
Virtually all methamphetamine in the United States comes through major ports of entry along the Southwest Border and is transported by tractor trailers and personal vehicles along the nation’s highways to major transfer centers around the country. It is often found in poly-drug loads, alongside cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.
The LA Field Division offices in California are encountering more methamphetamine that ever and with greater frequency. In FY 2019, DEA collected more than 6,000 kilograms of methamphetamine, which is a 120 percent increase from FY 2018. For FY 2020, the amount of seized methamphetamine has been consistent with the previous year.
The DEA Los Angeles Field Division Special Response Team (SRT) along with the following law enforcement agencies were involved: Irwindale Police Department, Fontana Police Department, South Gate Police Department, El Monte Police Department, Downey Police Department and Huntington Park Police Department.
Los Angeles Field Division is the 2nd largest division in DEA and responsible for the seven largest counties in Southern California—Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, as well as the states of Nevada (Las Vegas/Reno), and Hawaii (Oahu/Maui), and the U. S. Territories of Guam and Saipan.