ANAHEIM — Six men were in custody after Anaheim police confiscated an estimated 3,600 pounds of cocaine in two investigations in Orange and Los Angeles counties, authorities announced Tuesday.
Four men suspected of working for a Colombian drug cartel were arraigned in federal court Monday and charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Jeff Sinek. The four--Louis Angel Cortez, 40, of Palmdale; Teofilo Lopez, 47, of Huntington Park; Fernando Gonzalez Delatorre, 33, of Mexico, and Witaliy Samoiliw, 52, of Arcadia--were being held without bail in Los Angeles, Sinek said.
Federal drug agents said the cocaine was worth $131 million.
Anaheim police began investigating the four alleged drug traffickers in February after arresting two others near Needles, Calif., and seizing 1,400 pounds of cocaine that the men are suspected of preparing to ship to the East Coast. The two arrested in that case, Eual B. Wallace, 44, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Sidney Jones, 36, of Phoenix, are awaiting trial in Los Angeles next month, federal agents said.
Anaheim police said information from the first case led them to Palmdale, where they began watching Cortez, who over the next few weeks unwittingly led investigators to a Palmdale stash house and the three other suspects. Agents then followed the suspects to other locations where cocaine was stored, officials said.
During their May 6 sweep, police confiscated a total of 2,223 pounds of cocaine from homes in Huntington Park, Arcadia and Palmdale.