After discovering a massive cache of cash, ammunition, and drugs stockpiled at an Otay Mesa truck yard, three Mexican nationals who were tied to cross-border trucking companies were charged in the city's federal court on Tuesday, according to the United State's Attorney's Office.
Based on the information given by the federal prosecutors, it is believed to be the largest of its kind in the Southern District of California as the cumulative seizure includes $3.5 million of cash, 24 kilograms of fentanyl, 685 kilograms of cocaine, hundreds of body armor vests, and an estimated of 20,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition.
The stash gathered illustrates the pillars of an empire of drug-trafficking, showing the flow of narcotics coming from the north going to the south, along with United States weaponry to maintain control over it all, Times of San Diego reported.
According to the authorities, the collection discovered belonged to the Sinaloa Cartel.
The three men arrested were identified as Tijuana residents Juan Alatorre Venegas and Jose Yee Perez, and Jesus Burgos Arias, who is a Chula Vista resident, are now accused of trafficking drugs on the organization's behalf.
The said case is a part of a much wider investigation into the activities of the cartel, a probe that began in San Diego County nearly ten years ago and has resulted in charges against not less than 125 individuals, wherein many of them were identified as leaders in the inner circle of the drug organization.
Based on the arrest affidavit, one thread led case investigators to brothers, Gabriel Valenzuela Valenzuela and Jorge Alberto Valenzuela Valenzuela, who were identified by the investigators as high-ranking members of the cartel who together own a number of Mexican trucking companies that they used to transport cocaine from Sinaloa, Mexico, coming to the US soil.
The authorities also added that the trucks were also used to transport back cash from the drug sales back to Mexico.
The affidavit also states that Alatorre, Yee, and Burgos are accused of working for the brothers.
The affidavit also states that on October 15, agents watched Jorge Valenzuela and Burgos at an airport in Long Beach as they prepare to board on a private jet along with eight suitcases with them.
But the pilot checked the content of one of the luggage, wherein he discovered what appeared to be bricks of drugs that were wrapped in plastic, CBS8 reported.
On October 29, Valenzuela was arrested outside Boston after he made another flight leaving San Diego going to the East Coast.
According to the Washington Times, Agents put the Otay Mesa truck yard under surveillance on Friday, while sheriff's deputies conducted traffic stops on three departing vehicles, wherein they confirmed that Burgos was behind the wheel of a Ford pickup, while Yee and Alatorre were driving tractor-trailers.
According to the investigators, the subsequent search of the commercial facility revealed the millions of dollars that were wrapped in plastic and coated in axle grease, while the drugs were found in the garage.
The ammunition and body armors were discovered loaded into a tractor-trailer which is all likely bound for Mexico.
Even an AK-47-style rifle, which was initially reported stolen in Los Angeles in 2017, was also seized in the operation.
Despite the successful interference from the authorities, they did not disclose the exact facility location.