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U.S. Moves to Seize 3 Homes of Dope Suspect

January 23, 1986|JANE APPLEGATE | Times Staff Writer

The federal government moved Wednesday to seize three homes belonging to an Orange County man who is scheduled to stand trial on cocaine charges next month.

Federal law permits the U.S. attorney's office to attempt to seize anything the government believes was purchased with proceeds from drug sales or other crime.

The homes, one on Mammoth Circle in El Toro, one on Nellie Gail Road in Laguna Niguel and one on Nellie Gail Road in Laguna Hills, belong to Daniel and Rosalba Serrano, according to three complaints filed in federal court in Los Angeles.

The Serranos could not be reach for comment.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Carolyn Reynolds said Wednesday that under the federal forfeiture law in cases like this, the defendants must prove to the government that they did not use drug money to buy homes or other property, even if they have not been convicted.

Serrano, who has pleaded not guilty to the cocaine charges, is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 11. A former supervisor for the Xerox Corp., Serrano was arrested in December and charged with possession of 250 pounds of high-quality cocaine. A tip from a U.S. Customs Service agent prompted federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents to follow Serrano from Orange County to Los Angeles and back. According to court records, the agents watched Serrano moving boxes from a tractor-trailer with a Florida license plate into Serrano's 1985 Toyota van.

The boxes contained cocaine, the agents said.

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