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Drug Seizures Los Angeles County

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 1991 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The man who managed the Sylmar warehouse where authorities made the largest cocaine bust in history two years ago was sentenced Monday to life without parole. U. S. District Court Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. told James Romero McTague that he was guilty of "one of the most horrendous crimes that has ever been committed against the American people." McTague, 43, was one of seven people arrested in September, 1989, after the discovery of 21.4 tons of cocaine stacked in boxes in the warehouse.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 20, 1999
Authorities seized marijuana plants from an Agoura Hills home Monday but made no arrests in the case, a Sheriff's Department spokesman said. A warrant was served at a home in the 30600 block of Mainmast Drive at 11 a.m., according to Sheriff's Deputy Cruz Solis. Investigators refused to say how many plants were seized, but described it as "a moderate amount," Solis said. Equipment used to cultivate the plants was also seized, he said.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 1990 | VICTOR MERINA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Los Angeles County sheriff's sergeant, who has become the central figure in a money-skimming scandal involving an elite squad of narcotics officers, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to conspiracy and tax fraud charges and agreed to testify against his former deputies. Sgt. Robert R. Sobel, 45, who once commanded the crew of veteran deputies--all of whom have been indicted--tersely admitted in open court that he had helped steal more than $1.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 1998
The Police Department has an additional $458,000 this week, thanks to a large haul of drug-related cash netted in the traffic stop of a minivan earlier this year. Under federal drug asset seizures laws, the city on Tuesday was given a portion of the $611,000 recovered in February from a hidden compartment in the van. Under the law, the money must be used to aid narcotics investigations, said Azusa Police Chief John Broderick. "We are aiming to invest in new technology," Broderick said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 1990 | RONALD L. SOBLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A federal prosecutor disclosed Wednesday that a Sylmar warehouse which was the site a year ago of the country's biggest drug bust--21.4 tons of cocaine--was a conduit for 77 tons of cocaine in a three-month period before the seizure. Assistant U.S. Atty. James P. Walsh Jr., in opening remarks at the federal court trial of six alleged drug smugglers, called the seizure an "epic case" of law enforcement cracking a drug distribution ring of mammoth proportions. "These six men . . .
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 1989 | MICHAEL CONNELLY, Times Staff Writer
So much cocaine was found in a Sylmar warehouse raided 10 days ago that each Angeleno could have had a three-month supply. But what the world's biggest drug bust could not provide is enough credit to go around to all the law enforcement agencies that took part in it.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 26, 1989 | DARRELL DAWSEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
U.S. and Mexican narcotics agents have seized more than $3.1 million in cash at northern Mexico houses owned by two men suspected of engineering the sale of 21.4 tons of cocaine found last month at a Sylmar warehouse, a spokesman for the Mexican attorney general's office said Wednesday. A portion of the money discovered at the residences of Carlos Enrique Tapia Ponce, 68, and his son, Hector Tapia Anchondo, 38, was profits from the record cocaine stash discovered in the Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 16, 1990 | RICHARD BEENE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Sgt. Jim Hannon is from the old school. His life has been one of values, of duty, patriotism and honor. He's actually proud of the uniform he wears bearing the green and gold seal of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. And so it was Thursday that he found himself filled with anger and sadness, hurt to the core by reports about the widening money-skimming scandal involving the department's elite narcotics squads.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 1990 | RONALD L. SOBLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A federal investigator testified Wednesday that a defendant in the record cocaine seizure in Sylmar said the operation was linked to a deep-rooted drug organization in the border cities of El Paso and Juarez with tentacles that included a corrupt American border guard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 25, 1990 | RONALD L. SOBLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Bush Administration's war on drugs is pressuring prosecutors to gain convictions at any cost against six men arrested in connection with the record cocaine seizure at a Sylmar warehouse, defense attorneys charged in final arguments as the case went to the jury Wednesday. "There is a drug war going on in this country," attorney Marlene Gerdts told jurors in federal court in Los Angeles. "There is pressure put on prosecutors . . . to get a conviction. . . .
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 1998
After a three-year investigation by the FBI and Compton police, a dozen people were arrested Wednesday for allegedly operating two large-scale drug distribution networks. All those arrested face conspiracy and drug charges, federal officials said. The two men who allegedly headed the drug networks, Alfredo Alcaraz Jr.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 1997 | JOHN M. GLIONNA and TINA DAUNT, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The man arrested at a Bel-Air mansion on charges of cultivating a $20-million forest of marijuana plants is a self-made scientist and cancer patient struggling to develop new strains of cannabis to help those suffering from painful chronic diseases, activists and family members said Wednesday. Todd Patrick McCormick, who faces a federal charge of cultivation of marijuana, began smoking the drug as a teenager to quell the pain from a rare childhood cancer, his family said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 1997
About 5,000 marijuana plants were found by Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives serving a search warrant at a mansion on Stone Canyon Road in the upper reaches of Bel-Air Estates on Tuesday night, deputies said. Most of the plants were being grown under artificial light inside the home, detectives said. At least one man was being questioned in connection with the seizure, officials said. Detectives said the search culminated a lengthy investigation.
NEWS
July 26, 1997
Police serving an arrest warrant at a Long Beach motel seized 139 pounds of marijuana, officials said Friday. Officers arrested Bell resident Victor Zazueta, 33, a suspect in a previous narcotics case, after staking out a Days Inn motel in the 5900 block of Long Beach Boulevard on Thursday evening. Cpl. Harry Erickson said officers recovered 65 kilo-sized bricks--an amount with an estimated street value of at least $70,000--inside Zazueta's motel room shortly before 11 p.m.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 1997 | DAVID GREENBERG and NICK GREEN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Drug investigators arrested two Los Angeles County men Friday and seized 250 high-grade marijuana plants from a north Thousand Oaks home used only for cultivation, authorities said. "This is one of the largest indoor grows that we've had in Thousand Oaks," said Capt. Dennis Carpenter, head of the Ventura County sheriff's narcotics unit. "This is a pretty significant bust for an inside-a-home grow."
NEWS
November 25, 1996 | BETH SHUSTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Marijuana seizures in Los Angeles this year are on a pace that will double 1995's record haul, signaling the drug's growing popularity and widespread availability, according to city, county and federal law enforcement agencies. Since January, the Los Angeles Police Department has recovered record amounts of marijuana, even though it has undertaken no special efforts to target pot sellers or smokers. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department reports a similar bonanza. And U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 1992 | VICTOR MERINA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a move that could broaden a money-skimming investigation, an ex-narcotics officer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department pleaded guilty Thursday to theft and income tax charges and told a federal judge that he and other deputies stole $235,000 during a 1986 narcotics raid. Eufrasio G.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 1992 | VICTOR MERINA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy testified Thursday that he and another officer once tried to impress "a police groupie" by showing her cocaine from an evidence envelope at narcotics headquarters--only to watch horrified as the young woman suddenly inhaled some of the drug. Eufrasio G. Cortez told federal jurors that he panicked during the 1986 incident, which began when the young woman joined narcotics officers in a late-night drinking session to celebrate a successful drug raid.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 1996 | JEFF LEEDS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
By any measure, the cops who hunted drug traffickers for SCAN--the Southeast Cities Against Narcotics task force--made a good team. With fewer than a dozen investigators, pooled from five local police departments in southeast Los Angeles County, the special unit netted $100 million in cocaine and $14 million in cash in its best year. That also turned out to be its last year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 1996
Police seized about $33 million worth of cocaine from a woman driving a Jeep Cherokee through downtown Glendale in the middle of the afternoon, authorities said Wednesday. The woman, who was under surveillance by the Glendale Police Department's narcotics unit, was arrested about 3 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of transporting narcotics with intent to sell, Sgt. Rick Young said. Her name was not released. Police said they believed the haul belonged to a ring of Mexican and Colombian citizens.
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