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Orange County

4 Men Arrested, 3 Tons of Pot Seized in 2-County Raid

Authorities say they found nearly $3 million in drugs at houses in Fullerton and L.A.

October 29, 2003|Mai Tran | Times Staff Writer

In a two-county raid, drug enforcement agents seized nearly $3 million worth of marijuana at homes in Fullerton and Koreatown in Los Angeles, where they also arrested four men, authorities said.

Investigators discovered more than 3 tons of marijuana, valued at $2.68 million, and a sawed-off shotgun at the Fullerton home on Vista Grande, said Capt. Kim Markuson, who heads the Orange County Regional Narcotics Suppression Program and led the 10-day investigation that involved county, state and federal agencies.

In Los Angeles, 730 pounds of marijuana valued at $292,000 and $37,000 in cash were seized at a home on Irolo Street, authorities said. One of the men arrested there had a loaded 9-millimeter handgun tucked in his waistband, officials said.

"It's a pretty substantial haul," Markuson said. "So these people are certainly more than street dealers."

Drug agents said the men smuggled marijuana from Mexico, then stored the drugs at rented houses while they tried to sell them.

Being held without bail at Orange County Jail on suspicion of possession and transportation of marijuana were Saul Tellez Chavez, 38, of Anaheim; Alfredo Chavez, 28, of Los Angeles; and Clive Love, 39, and Mark Wynter, 34, both of San Bernardino

Officials said they believe the men could be connected to a sophisticated drug trafficking ring but declined to comment further, citing an ongoing investigation.

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