DEA Dismantles Los Angeles Cocaine Trafficking Ring
DEC 8--LOS ANGELES, CA – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Los Angeles Division successfully dismantled a cocaine trafficking organization operating in the Los Angeles area. This 12-month investigation culminated today with the execution of ten search warrants and eight arrests. This investigation targeted a Los Angeles based cocaine trafficking organization responsible for importing and distributing large quantities of cocaine.
“Today’s arrests and seizures have effectively dismantled this drug and money laundering organization,” said DEA Associate Special Agent in Charge Ralph Partridge. “No matter how and where drug traffickers try to hide and move their money, DEA will find it and bring those involved to justice.”
This joint investigation targeted an organization that supplied large quantities of cocaine throughout the United States. In addition, this organization was involved in the laundering of narcotics proceeds through transportation of large quantities of bulk currency. During the course of this investigation, agents became aware that the organization was involved in smuggling cocaine into the United States for ultimate distribution to individuals in the Los Angeles area. The cocaine and narcotics proceeds were smuggled in vehicles and planes to and from Mexico, many of which were equipped with hidden compartments.
"The IRS Criminal Investigation provides financial expertise in narcotics investigations to assist in tracing the illegal income generated and to seize assets from individuals profiting from the illegal activity," said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent-in-Charge Michael S. Kochmanski.
Today’s warrants resulted in the seizure of two vehicles, five firearms, approximately $100,000.00 U.S. Currency and approximately one kilogram of cocaine. The entire investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately 40 kilograms of cocaine and approximately $1.2 Million Dollars of U.S. Currency.
Participating agencies in today’s operation included: DEA, Internal Revenue Service, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Marshals Service, California Highway Patrol, Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force, Regional Narcotics Suppression Program, San Bernardino County Westend Narcotics Enforcement Team.
Further information will be disseminated to press outlets when available for release. Please forward any questions to DEA Los Angeles Public Information Officer Sarah Beers at (213) 621-6827.