FBI Busts San Diego Trucking Company Fentanyl Trafficking Ring

By Socalj 2/15/2024 04:49:00 PM 4 comments

SoCalj" for Borderland Beat

17 suspects believed to be part of a drug trafficking ring are accused of smuggling large quantities of narcotics into the Los Angeles area.

After a two-year investigation, authorities discovered the suspects used semi-trucks to import fire extinguishers filled with drugs that were concealed in scrap metal loads. The drugs were smuggled over the US-Mexico border and included fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

During a two-year investigation called Operation Smoke Jumpers, authorities made 13 seizures in which they discovered around 680,992 fentanyl pills, 3 kilograms of fentanyl powder, 17 kilograms of heroin, and 10,418 pills containing methamphetamine.

9 suspects who were arrested from Feb. 8-12 were identified as:

Oscar Ahumada Leyva, 43, of Mexico (Owner of the Trucking Company) Carlos Espinoza, 38, of Alhambra Fernando Salgado, 36, of Riverside Erick Roque Angeles, 39, of Fontana Rocio Guadalupe Acevedo Tonche, 32, of Ontario David Sanchez Balderas, 26, of Denver Miguel Antonio Rabago Valenzuela, 42, of Mexico Gustavo Rivero Rodriguez, 39, of Mexico Efren Quibrera Espinoza, 29, of Cudahy

The tenth suspect, Toniel Baez-Duarte, 33, of Apple Valley, was already in state custody. 7 additional suspects remain at large and are believed to be in Mexico.

The indictment alleges two narcotics conspiracies and 12 drug possession offenses, each of which carries a sentence anywhere from 10 years to life in federal prison. If suspects are also convicted of money laundering conspiracy, they could face up to 20 years in prison for that charge.

“These defendants used a sophisticated network to smuggle immense amounts of fentanyl into our country,” said Martin Estrada, a U.S. Attorney. “We know that every fentanyl pill can kill, but these defendants did not care about the widespread destruction they were causing. Our office will continue to work intelligently and aggressively to bring international drug-trafficking organizations to justice.”

Carin Trucking
The investigation centered around Carin Trucking, a San Diego-based company that operated at least 6 semi-trucks that regularly entered the U.S. from Mexico to deliver suspected narcotics to the L.A. area, authorities said.

The company's DOT records show the main company's operations are in Tijuana, with a mailing address in San Diego, California.

Sources DOJ, KTLA

FBI Busts San Diego Trucking Company Fentanyl Trafficking Ring ~ Borderland Beat