The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California announced on Jan. 23 that a routine traffic stop in Pixley in early January led to the discovery of more than 300 pounds of methamphetamine and the dismantling of a major narcotics trafficking ring. A 20-year-old man and a 24-year-old man are being held in connection with the seized drugs. They have been charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics and could be sentenced to life imprisonment if convicted. Bail for both men has been set at $3 million.
A 38-year-old California man was taken into custody on narcotics charges on the night of Jan. 19 after methamphetamine and cocaine were allegedly found in his vehicle during a routine traffic stop in Santa Barbara County. Police say the seized drugs would be worth about $2,300 if sold on the street. The man has been charged with possessing drugs with the intent to distribute, reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. He is being held at the Santa Barbara County Jail, and his bail has been set at $250,000.
Two brothers from Vallejo, ages 24 and 30, remain in federal custody after searches of their homes produced methamphetamine, a semi-automatic handgun and two AK-47 assault rifles. According to information released by the Napa Special Investigations Bureau, the men sold methamphetamine and cocaine to undercover detectives on multiple occasions.
Humboldt County sheriff's deputies arrested a 35-year-old man in McKinleyville who fled from a vehicle reported stolen by its owner in Arcata. A search of the vehicle revealed objects that the California State Parks had reported stolen. Other items that appeared stolen filled the vehicle, including camping gear, electronics, tools and prescription pills. The vehicle also contained tools commonly used to commit burglaries along with other evidence indicating that the suspect might have been selling narcotics.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California reported on Dec. 6 that a multi-agency drug trafficking investigation has led to the indictment of 12 individuals by a federal grand jury. The individuals were taken into custody during several operations in November following an investigation involving the Fresno and Salinas Police Departments, the San Bernardino and Kings County Sheriff's Departments, the California Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
California residents might be surprised to learn that a federal judge recently sentenced former "American Idol" contestant Antonella Barba to 45 months in prison for the possession and distribution of opioids. The 32-year-old New Jersey native appeared on the series in 2007.
On Nov. 19, California state law enforcement took 50 people into custody who were allegedly connected to the Nortenos street gang. The investigation started in August. Alleged gang members were said to have been involved in possessing and selling firearms, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder.
Two men, age 19 and 25, remain jailed in Tulare County Jail after police in Visalia captured them for reportedly attempting to walk away from a traffic stop. A sergeant from the police department said that an officer stopped their vehicle near the intersection of Houston Avenue and Turner Street for a code violation. Officers caught up to the men eventually and arrested them.
In mid-October, Southern California authorities announced the seizure of 18 pounds of the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl. Investigators say the amount was sufficient to create 4 million deadly doses of the drug and has an estimated street value of $1.25 million.
On Oct. 7, California authorities arrested 12 people during a drug raid in Ceres. The incident occurred at around 7 a.m.