More Than 5,000 Pounds of Methamphetamine Seized in 'Record-Breaking' Drug Bust in San Diego County, Cops Say
Four men are facing federal drug offence charges after authorities seize over 5,000 pounds of methamphetamine.
Four men were arrested in connection to what authorities said was one of the largest drug busts to ever occur in San Diego County in California.
The four men, identified as 37-year-old Rafael Alzua, 41-year-old Galdrino Contreras, 41-year-old Mario Contreras and 44-year-old Ethgar Velazquez, are all from Tijuana, Mexico. They were charged with federal drug trafficking offenses after law enforcement agents seized more than 5,000 pounds of methamphetamine on July 8, officials said.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, a 20-foot box truck crossed from Mexico into the U.S. through the Otay Mesa Commercial Port of Entry. Law enforcement agents observed the four men unloading “dozens” of cardboard boxes from the truck into a Dodge van, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Law enforcement then arrested the men and discovered nearly 148 bundles of what later allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine, totaling more than 5,000 pounds in what authorities say, was a “record-breaking” seizure.
“This monumental seizure represents another win against drug cartels that fuel addiction in the United States,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Shelly S. Howe in a news release.
Two of four men have received bail from a federal court according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, a $25,000 personal appearance bond was ordered for Galdrino Contreras, and a $20,000 personal appearance bond was ordered for Velazquez. Alzua's defense lawyer requested the judge to continue the detention hearing to July 19, the outlet reported.
Mario Contreras, Galdrino Contreras's twin brother, did not appear in court, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. A prosecutor said he did not know why the man didn't show up for court.
Velazquez is a United States citizen and a longtime resident of San Diego County, according to federal public defender Leila Morgan, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Prosecutors said Contreras has resided in Tijuana for the past 20 years. During the arrest, he reportedly tried to flee from law police. Contreras also has a residence in the United States, is a citizen of the United States and has no past convictions, according to his defense counsel, who requested that the judge set bond, reported The San Diego Union-Tribune.
According to his defense lawyer, Galdrino Contreras believed he was being paid to unload something from the vehicle, the outlet reported.
“Although it is a lot of methamphetamine, that is not a reason to detain him,” attorney David Zugman said, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
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