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(SAN LUIS OBISPO) – The Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) San Luis Obispo Narcotic Task Force (SLOCNTF) today announced the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California obtained federal indictments for six individuals on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine.
The California Highway Patrol's Coastal Division Commander, Deputy Chief Ray Blackwell, expressed his appreciation for the extraordinary efforts of SLOCNTF, member agencies, and the federal, state and local departments which participated in the criminal investigation and arrest operation. "The CHP is pleased that a member of the department played an active role in the investigation as a SLOCNTF investigator," Blackwell said. "This operation is a classic model of the outstanding interagency cooperation that exists in this region and more importantly, sends a powerful message that criminal enterprises and drug trafficking is not tolerated in our area."
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.
"This case benefits our community by removing a major supply network and a significant amount of drugs that were destined to be distributed in this area," Atascadero Police Chief John Couch said.
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.
The individuals indicted by the U.S. Attorney are:
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
The 12 individuals arrested on state drug-related charges have all been released from custody and the SLOCNTF is pursuing charges for each individual with the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office.
SLOCNTF received extensive financial and logistical support from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Numerous other state and local agencies, including the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office, also played an integral role in the case. 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.
"This case is an example of how interagency cooperation can produce extraordinary results," said Arroyo Grande Police Chief Rick Terborch.
SLOCNTF members agencies include: the Arroyo Grande Police Department, the Atascadero Police Department, the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, the California Highway Patrol, the California National Guard, the Cal Poly Police Department, the California State Parole, the Grover Beach Police Department, the Morro Bay Police Department, the Paso Robles Police Department, the Pismo Beach Police Department, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office, the San Luis Obispo Police Department, the San Luis Obispo County Probation Department and the San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services/Child Welfare Services.
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 Santa Barbara Regional Narcotic Enforcement Team (SBRNET), the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office, the Santa Maria Police Department Narcotics Unit and the Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA).