California experienced a year-long series of drug trafficking crimes focused around the Bay Area, where authorities charged 44 suspects and seized nearly a ton of illegal drugs, as well as dozens of firearms, federal authorities said.
Four investigations were conducted since January where four federal agencies and local law enforcement looked into 15 separate cases. Authorities seized 1,100 pounds of methamphetamine. Daniel Comeaux, the DEA Special Agent in Charge, said the amount of illegal drugs was nearly 80 million doses.
Illegal Drug Trade
Officials said they confiscated half of the total amount from a January 27 raid in Sunnyvale. Authorities found 572 pounds of illegal drugs. United States Attorney David Anderson called the incident the largest single federal meth raid in Northern California history.
Investigators also found 500 pounds of fentanyl and some amount of cocaine and heroin during the raids. Anderson said officials also discovered firearm components, including a grenade launcher and .50 caliber sniper rifles. The Sunnyvale raid found 11 guns.
During a Thursday news conference, Anderson noted the surge of drug trafficking crimes had affected countless individuals and communities in California. He said criminals had no regard for the damage they brought with their actions.
Anderson said most of the seized illegal drugs were handled by a Mexico-based drug cartel and distributed within California through Calexico. The area is where most of the criminals were able to get their supply of drugs to distribute. “We, today, put a hurting on the Sinaloa Cartel,” said Comeaux.
Additionally, Anderson announced he would be stepping down from his position, which would be effective at the end of February. His decision was influenced by the change in leadership of the United States and following regular customary changes.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security also conducted investigations with the help of drug task forces in San Mateo and Alameda counties. Four investigations resulted in 15 cases filed against 44 suspects. Authorities said the majority of whom overlapped multiple probes.
Authorities had custody of 18 suspects, one of which was in the hands of the state. Officials granted 13 with pretrial release, while there were still 12 on the loose that police were tracking. Most of the warrants were in San Jose and nearby areas. On Thursday, a map was released during a news conference that showed recent meth raids.
Two individuals were the center of the indictments and charges on Thursday. One suspect was 46-year-old David Compoy, who is believed to have conspired with his family to distribute drugs and weapons in the South Bay.
Authorities revealed they believed Campoy had direct ties to the Sinaloa Cartel and their operations. They noted that the scope of his operations suggested he “exercised market power over the price and availability of methamphetamine in Northern California.”
The second suspect is Raudel Macias, who authorities believe a family-led drug network outside of San Jose. The other charges included low-level thugs and distributors. Investigators used wiretaps and informants to collect sufficient evidence against the suspects.
Three men were involved in Thursday’s discussion of cases, two of whom were from the Bay Area who traveled on July 23 heading to San Diego. Authorities said they were going to the area to meet up with a man who was known to have frequently handled drugs from Mexico to California, Mercury News reported.
Two Bay Area individuals were believed to have received illegal drugs in Calexico, as detailed in the DEA’s affidavit. Authorities said the merchandise was hidden inside tires to prevent local officials from discovering them. The agency also analyzed confiscated mobile phones that revealed text messages and photos detailing the operations.