Police seized more than 500 pounds of methamphetamine in San Bernardino County after a multi-agency narcotics investigation into the activities of the Sinaloa drug cartel. A 55-year-old Apple Valley man and a 21-year-old Ontario resident have been charged in connection with the drugs. Agencies participating in the investigation include the California Highway Patrol, the Alhambra and West Covina police departments and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to media reports, the drugs were found when police searched a residence on Tussing Ranch Road in Apple Valley. In addition to the methamphetamine, which is said to be worth about $1.25 million, police allegedly discovered five M4 and M16 assault rifles and $38,000 in cash during the search. Reports indicate that evidence gathered at the scene led police to a nearby auto repair facility where they discovered 40 grams of fentanyl and six handguns.
The two men have been charged with drug possession, drug trafficking and drug possession with the intent to distribute. The Apple Valley man also faces a raft of weapons charges. He was released on May 19 after posting bail but before formal charges were filed. Prosecutors are said to have filed a motion calling for his bail to be re-examined. The Ontario man remains in custody at the High Desert Detention Center. His bail has been set at $350,000 according to reports.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise individuals accused of committing narcotics offenses to remain silent even if police searches led to the discovery of drugs. This is because searches are sometimes ruled illegal and the evidence discovered excluded after search warrants have been obtained. Defense attorneys may question the validity of searches when warrants were issued based on questionable probable cause or the police officers involved exceeded parameters laid down by the issuing judge.
Source: KTLA, 2 Arrested, 500 Pounds of Meth Seized During Sinaloa Cartel Investigation in SoCal: Authorities, Los Angeles Times report, May 20, 2019
Source: The Victorville Daily Press, Apple Valley bust nets 500 pounds of meth, Matthew Cabe, May 21, 2019