A federal grand jury in San Diego has indicted 12 people, including a man described as one of the top producers of methamphetamines in the United States, on various drug, tax-evasion and weapons charges.
Dominick Joseph Esposito, 44, said by U.S. authorities to have run at least four methamphetamine laboratories in San Diego County and Baja California from 1983 to 1985, was the key defendant named in five indictments that were unsealed Thursday. Esposito is being held on drug charges by Mexican officials at La Mesa Penitentiary in Tijuana.
He was arrested after Mexican authorities seized a methamphetamine lab near Tecate, Mexico, on July 25, 1985. On May 1, 1984, a similar lab allegedly operated by Esposito near Ramona exploded and burned. U.S. drug agents found 27 pounds of methamphetamine worth more than $270,000 at the house.
Ron D'Ulisse, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration, said Esposito also has been identified as a major distributor of heroin. D'Ulisse estimated that Esposito earned $40 million in profits from his methamphetamine labs in the last three years.
The other defendants in the case are from San Diego County. Two of them, Gary Arman and Bruce Alvin Ross, are in La Mesa Penitentiary in Mexico with Esposito. U.S. authorities said Esposito relied on motorcycle gangs to distribute the methamphetamines.