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San Luis Obispo County Narcotic Task Force Announces Major Multi-agency Methamphetamine Bust

Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY) – The Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) San Luis Obispo Narcotic Task Force (SLOCNTF) today announced the culmination of a multi-agency, year-long investigation that led to the arrest of 18 persons on federal and state drug-related charges.

Law enforcement in San Luis Obispo County have long suspected that a sophisticated criminal enterprise was responsible for distributing large amounts of methamphetamine and heroin in the Paso Robles area. To address the problem, approximately one year ago, an investigation was initiated by SLOCNTF. The investigation required the use of informants, extensive surveillance and undercover agents. During the course of the investigation, agents made numerous purchases of narcotics from an individual supplied by the Guerrero Organization.

At the completion of this investigation, six people were arrested on federal drug charges and 12 people on state drug-related charges. Among the items seized are: more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine worth nearly $500,000, 43 grams of heroin, 3.5 grams of cocaine, over $73,000 in U.S. currency, two semi-automatic handguns, and several rifles. SLOCNTF is pursuing federal seizure proceedings on two residences and a 2001 Yukon sport utility vehicle owned by Guerrero.

SLOCNTF received extensive financial and logistical support from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. It was through this collaborative effort that law enforcement was able to dismantle this organized trafficking ring which operated from Mexico and throughout the State of California.

SLOCNTF Commander Tyler Burtis said, “This should serve as a wake up call to all of us that enjoy living in this pristine county, that organized crime does exist here and must be dealt with accordingly.”

“This combined enforcement effort dealt a major blow to the methamphetamine and heroin trade here in San Luis Obispo County,” said David Wales, resident agent-in-charge for ICE investigations in central California. “By working together and pooling our resources, we have dismantled an organization that was bringing significant quantities of dangerous drugs into the area. This cooperation is a hallmark of ICE's enforcement efforts here and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect the community from these types of threats.”

“I am proud of the combined efforts of the San Luis Obispo County Narcotics Task Force, the Attorney General and federal authorities in removing this large amount of dangerous narcotics from the streets of
our local communities,” said San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deborah Linden.

Arrested were the following adults:

FEDERAL ARRESTS
• Guerrero, Gavino, 47, Paso Robles
• Sarabia, Raul, 30, Escondido
• Guerrero, Bernardina, 42, Paso Robles
• Gomez-Juarez, Juan, 34, Paso Robles
• Garcia, Jesus Ramon, 50, Atascadero
• Rodriquez, Regino, 59, Paso Robles

STATE ARRESTS
• Guerrero, Adela, 21, Paso Robles
• Guerrero, Eliselda, 19, Paso Robles
• Gomez, Joseph, 37, Paso Robles
• Tirado, Jesus, 22, Paso Robles
• Fredrickson, Scott, 43, Paso Robles
• Panos, Jana Louise, 35, Paso Robles
• Sanchez, Rene Gonzales, 34, Paso Robles
• Martinez, Juan, 47, Paso Robles
• Wilbanks, Dorothy, 61, Paso Robles
• Deleon, Renaldo, 36, Paso Robles
• Nunez, Mike, 54, Paso Robles
• Guerrero, Juvenile, 15, Paso Robles
• ADDITIONAL ARRESTS ARE PENDING

Paso Robles Police Chief Dennis Cassidy said, “It is extremely rewarding to see this intensive year-long multi-agency investigation culminate so successfully with numerous arrests and the significant seizures of
narcotics destined for our community.”

In addition to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), other agencies involved with the investigation include: the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, the San Luis Obispo Police Department, the Paso Robles Police Department, the Santa Barbara Regional Narcotic Enforcement Team (SBRNET), the Santa Maria Police Department Narcotics Unit, the Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA) and San Luis Obispo County Deputy Sheriff Alan Barger and K-9 “Jake.”

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