An investigation begun three years ago in Imperial County has resulted in 24 arrests and the seizure of nearly $100 million in drugs.
Search warrants were served this morning in Imperial County as well as several other Southern California counties. 10 Imperial Valley residents have been arrested and 14 more were arrested in Los Angeles, Riverside , Orange and Ventura Counties. Operation Cerberus , as it is called , crippled the Sinaloa Cartel according to Imperial County District Attorney Gilbert Otero. Otero said that Imperial County was being used by the cartel as a trans-shipping point for distribution of mainly cocaine to the Los Angeles area. 3,000 pounds of cocaine has been seized over the 3 years of Operation Cerberus. 100 pounds of methamphetamine and 800 pounds of marijuana was also seized as were several high power rifles , automatic weapons and handguns. Otero said that 17 search warrants were served targeting the major players in the operation. Imperial County Narcotics Task Force Commander Mike Lloyd said that the cocaine was seized 25 to 30 kilos at a time over the course of the investigation. U.S. Border Patrol El Centro Sector Deputy Chief Roy Villareal said that the investigation was successful through the efforts of local , state and federal agencies including the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office , Drug Enforcement Administration , U.S. Border Patrol , Homeland Security Investigations , Imperial County Probation Department , California Highway Patrol and the El Centro, Brawley , Imperial and Calexico Police Departments. There was cooperation between agencies in New York , North Caroline , Arizona and Oregon as well.