3-year investigation nets 1 ton of cocaine, 850 pounds of meth, 93 pounds of heroin

FILE PHOTO. 57 people were indicted on federal drug trafficking charges involving the Sinaloa Cartel as raids were conducted throughout Southern California, officials said Wednesday. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — Nearly a ton of cocaine and hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine and heroin are among the drugs netted during a large trafficking bust in Los Angeles.

A total of 22 people have been arrested and are accused of smuggling large amounts of drugs and money to the United States from Mexico for the Sinaloa Cartel, KABC reported.

In all, 57 defendants are named in three indictments unsealed Wednesday.

The remaining 35 people are fugitives who are believed to be in Mexico, officials said.

Wednesday’s sting, dubbed Operation Narconetas, is the culmination of a three-year investigation by the Los Angeles Strike Force, officials said.

Investigators targeted three drug trafficking operations that were used to allegedly transport cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin across the United States.


In all, authorities seized approximately 850 pounds of methamphetamine, nearly one ton of cocaine, 93 pounds of heroin, nearly 50 pounds of marijuana and $1.42 million in U.S. currency, KABC reported.

The combined street value of the drugs is estimated at $35 million, KTLA reported.

The indictments, which were unsealed Wednesday, allege that the suspects received the drugs from the northern Mexico cartel, smuggled them into Los Angeles in hidden vehicle compartments and distributed them to Arizona, Kansas, Minnesota and New York, KTLA reported.

Those indicted face a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, and some could face life in prison, officials said.