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Santa Ana Drug Bust Nets 1,500 Pounds of Cocaine

February 11, 1995|KEN ELLINGWOOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANA — Narcotics officers arrested four men and seized 1,500 pounds of cocaine worth $10 million after a three-week investigation, officials said Friday.

Officials seized more than a third of the drugs Thursday night after investigators watched two suspects load a package into a pickup truck outside a residence in Santa Ana. The package was found to have 99 pounds of cocaine, authorities said. A later search of the residence, in the 600 block of South Flower Street, turned up more than 500 pounds more of the drug, according to a statement issued by the Orange County Regional Narcotics Suppression Program.

Alfredo Aldaco Gutierrez, 24, of Costa Mesa and Rafael Hinojosa Alcaraz, 36, of Riverside were booked on suspicion of possession and transportation of cocaine for sale.

Two other men were arrested on similar charges after investigators discovered nearly 900 pounds of cocaine, the statement said. Those seizures came after a Jan. 30 surveillance operation in Tustin led authorities to two men transporting drugs. A search of a van found 660 pounds and subsequent search of a Tustin residence turned up 220 pounds more, officials said.

Arrested in connection with those seizures were Belermino Escobar Soriano, 42, of Costa Mesa and Frank Javier Cordoba, 47, of Miami, officials said.

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