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California Briefing / Statewide

21 people charged in drug smuggling

July 31, 2009|Shelby Grad

Federal prosecutors have charged 21 people who allegedly were involved in a large narcotics ring that brought heroin from Mexico into California.

According to the U.S. attorney's office, the ring shipped heroin in secret compartments of vehicles from Michoacan to Modesto, with the drugs distributed across Northern and Central California.

The ring then allegedly smuggled cash back into Mexico, authorities said.

In a statement, acting U.S. Atty. Lawrence Brown said: "This investigation strikes a major blow against heroin trafficking in Northern California. Heroin is a highly addictive drug that destroys lives. The numerous local, state and federal agencies who partnered during this 18-month operation are to be commended."

Some of the suspects are still at large.

-- Shelby Grad

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