Authorities have reported one of the "larger" drug busts in recent history in connection with the recent arrest of four men and two women in Southern California. So far, the street value of the cocaine seized from this purported drug crime operation is allegedly worth over $35 million. It terms of wholesale value, it would be worth about $8.2 million.
Authorities indicate that they have been conducting surveillance against the operation for the past month. This led to the arrest initially of three people in a car in San Bernardino with 55 kilograms of cocaine in the vehicle. According to authorities, those arrests led to information linking to a home in Santa Fe Springs, where another 255 kilograms were seized in the garage. Three others were arrested there.
A multi-jurisdictional police force based in Los Angeles provided information on the bust. That agency reports that the drugs originated from Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. The agency also reports that the drugs were supposed to be distributed throughout the United States.
Defense counsel for each accused suspect will want to thoroughly understand and evaluate the surveillance procedures used by the police. Counsel will add to that information the details connected to the traffic stop of the car and the arrest of the occupants. As discussed previously in this blog, traffic stops and vehicle stops must be carefully considered and evaluated for potentially illegal or overzealous police procedures.
Additionally, in this case, the drug crime bust also extended to a home. Counsel must learn all of the details surrounding the intrusion into that home -- whether there was a search warrant, and if so, on what basis it was issued. The step-by-step actions of the authorities must be learned and evaluated in order to give the client the competent and assertive services to which he or she is entitled. Both California and federal constitutional principles demand no less.
Source: abc7.com, "$35 million of cocaine seized in massive Southern California drug bust", Jory Rand, June 4, 2015