3 arrested in $150 million drug bust near Gilroy

August 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A $150 million drug operation was picked apart piece-by-piece in the South Bay. Police busted a huge meth lab in Gilroy Thursday and arrested three men they say were running the operation.

The drugs and evidence were cleared out of the home by late Thursday night, but the clean up continued. Drug agents also stopped a red car that drove nearby the home and checked out the occupants of that vehicle to see if they were related to the operation.

On a video exclusively shot by GilroyDispatch.com an officer said, "We've never seen anything this big." And even veteran drug agents were shocked by the sheer volume of meth inside the home near Gilroy. The video also shows room after room, filled with buckets and bins of the purest, highest-quality form of methamphetamine.

"It's a lot of dope when you start talking about 400 pounds and that's pure? that's about 95 to 98 percent pure methamphetamine, that could've messed up a lot of people's lives," said Bob Cooke from the California Bureau of Narcotics.

Which is why shutting down this production line was a priority for drug agents. They've been working this case for more than a year and believe the house near Gilroy is the center of a massive drug ring which begins in Mexico. All three suspects are Mexican nationals and have been living here for a year.

One neighbor driving by said he knew the people in the house weren't good, but most people living on Roop Avenue say they had no idea what was going on inside the house.

An woman who wanted to remain anonymous said, "I'm shocked, there's hardly any traffic here. There was hardly anyone out there, I'm really surprised."

However, investigators aren't surprised; they're sure the suspects are mid to upper level players in the Mexican drug cartel.

"Typically these guys are all carrying guns and they're being much more brazen about protecting their investment," said Lt. Fred Links from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, the Department of Justice, and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department raided six other locations in Sacramento and Modesto -- all are tied to the suspects who live at the home hear Gilroy.

"They were so quiet," said neighbor Lupe Garcia.

Judith Carrillo who lives across the street said, "This is very bad. We have children, we didn't know this was happening in this house. It's so close to us."

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department released photos of the suspects: Fabian Figueroa, Sergio Morillo, and Hector Salazar. They are all currently being held at the Santa Clara County Jail. ICE agents have put an immigration hold on them.

Drug agents also found about 20 kilos of cocaine inside and they believe cock fighting was going in the back yard.


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