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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2001
Contact: Jose Martinez, PIO
(213) 621-6714

MULTIPLE DEFENDANTS ARRESTED IN DRUG CONSPIRACY
IN LOS ANGELES AND ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

OPERATION BLACK ICE RESULTED IN THE DISMANTLING OF A HEROIN TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION AND THE ARREST OF 50 MAJOR HEROIN DISTRIBUTORS NATIONWIDE.

photo of some of the seized items

Some of the over 30 pounds of heroin seized during the investigation. In addition, law enforcement officers seized $117,000 in U.S. currency during Operation Black Ice.

photo of some of the seized items

For the past seven months the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Los Angeles Field Division in cooperation with the LA District Attorney’s Office, LA County Sheriff’s Department, Regional Narcotic Suppression Program (RNSP), Burbank Police Department, Downey Police Department, South Gate Police Department, St., Louis Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Glendale Police Department, PalmSprings Narcotic Task Force and the United States Customs Service have been involved in an ongoing heroin investigation.

Operation Black Ice is a multi agency, multi jurisdictional investigation focused on the Jose Serrano heroin trafficking command and control cell. This investigation revealed a violent, geographically diverse, family-based organization with tentacles extending from Uruapan, Michoacan, and Tepic, Nayarit Mexico to the Los Angeles metropolitan area; Fort Worth, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Portland, Oregon; and St. Louis, Missouri.

Today, eleven (11) defendants were arrested in Southern California and 13 search warrants were served. During the course of the investigation, investigators seized over 30 pounds of heroin and $117,000.00 in U.S. Currency.

Those arrested today included:

Herminio Sandoval, 39 yoa
Jose Serrano, 29 yoa
Eduardo Serrano, 35 yoa
Francisco Serrano, 30 yoa
Juan Fernando Guzman Lopez, 27 yoa
Gustavo Barragan, 39 yoa
Alejandro Hernandez, 33 yoa
Rafael Valencia, age unknown
Randall Jackson, 29 yoa (arrested in St. Louis)
Barbara Bullard, 54 yoa (arrested in Ft. Worth, Texas)
Devon Bullard, 20 yoa (arrested in Ft. Worth, Texas)

Operation Black Ice resulted in the takedown of a major heroin organization and the arrest of 50 major heroin distributors.

The above defendants are being prosecuted by the LA District Attorney’s Office. Additional defendants were arrested today in St. Louis by the DEA St. Louis Field Division and various Missouri law enforcement agencies.

DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson stated today in St. Louis that, “This case illustrates that heroin trafficking and violence go hand-in-hand. Nationally there is a concern that heroin traffickers are making new inroads into our nation’s urban areas. This case is a strong statement that heroin traffickers should not target our neighborhoods.”

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