36 Arrested in Huge California Drug Trafficking Bust, Perps Tied to Mexican Sinaloa Cartel

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U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Los Angeles Field Division via AP

A major California drug smuggling and distribution network has been busted, with 36 arrests, and the confiscation of firearms and a variety of drugs. And the kicker? The operation had ties to Mexico’s vicious Sinaloa cartel:

Authorities announced 36 people were arrested in a massive bust targeting a California-based drug trafficking network with ties to the Sinaloa cartel.
The fentanyl-and-methamphetamine distribution network operated in the Imperial Valley and involved drug trafficking, firearms and money laundering offenses, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
More than 400 law enforcement officials were involved in the arrests of 36 suspects. Search warrants were served in 25 locations across Los Angeles, San Diego, Imperial County, Fresno, Phoenix, Arizona and Salem, Oregon.
Officials confirmed 11 additional suspects remain on the run.
A U.S. Border Patrol agent, Alexander Grindley, was also arrested for alleged methamphetamine trafficking.

Why was the Border Patrol involved, we might ask? Because of those ties to the Sinaloa cartel, which is based in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.

The Sinaloa cartel is known for cross-border human trafficking and drug smuggling, along with murder, rape, torture, money laundering and political corruption in Mexico. The Biden administration’s lax (some might say non-existent) border control policies can only be facilitating this cross-border activity.


See Related: Mass Illegal Border Crossings Still Happening Every Day – Biden Admin’s Actions Have Done Nothing 

Border Patrol Details Most Common Excuses Human Smugglers Give When Stopped by the Authorities


The haul of drugs and so on that was confiscated was considerable:

During the bust, authorities confiscated:

  • Over four kilograms of fentanyl, which amounts to about two million potentially fatal doses
  • More than 324 kilograms (over 714 pounds) of methamphetamine
  • Significant quantities of cocaine and heroin
  • 52 firearms, including handguns and rifles

That is in addition to previous confiscations suspected to be from the same drug smuggling and distribution ring. That’s enough drugs to kill millions, and while methamphetamine may be locally produced, the fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin come in across the southern border.

The officers involved in this bust would necessarily have come from several agencies, but the Border Patrol involvement indicates Homeland Security was included in the investigation and the bust, while the Justice Department will be involved as the case moves forward.

Attorney General Garland spoke on this bust, in one of his more self-awareness-lacking statements:

“With this takedown, the Justice Department has dealt yet another blow to the Sinaloa Cartel and its associates,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “I am grateful to the more than 400 law enforcement officers whose work in this operation resulted in dozens of arrests, charges against 47 defendants, and the seizure of firearms, meth, cocaine, heroin, and two million potentially lethal doses of fentanyl. We will continue to be relentless in our fight to protect American communities from the cartels.”

The influx of drugs and cartel members into the United States is the result of Biden administration policies. The involvement of the Sinaloa cartel in this group was encouraged by the Biden administration’s weakness on border security. While the officers behind this bust should be congratulated, the larger problem remains: Our southern border is wide open, the cartels have long since realized the opportunities to be taken because of this, and the Biden administration’s lack of action is encouraging them to do so. This is a problem that will take decades to unmake, and we haven’t even gotten started yet. By necessity, the first action will have to be getting complete control of the southern border – something that won’t happen under Pres. Biden.

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