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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Seizure of $1.8 Million Worth of Cocaine from Mexican Cartel

Friday, November 18, 2011
Contact: (415) 703-5837

SAN FRANCISCO --- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced the seizure yesterday of 18.5 kilos of cocaine worth an estimated $1.85 million as part of a Department of Justice-led operation that targeted the Sinaloa cartel.

“This operation is an example of the complex and multi-jurisdictional work that Department of Justice agents do every day to keep California safe,” Attorney General Harris said. “I commend these agents for their bravery and professional excellence.”

Department of Justice special agents from the Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA) conducted an undercover sting operation into the cartel’s drug trafficking activities. Working with a confidential informant, an undercover agent arranged to purchase cocaine from an individual associated with the Sinaloa cartel, which operates in Baja California. Yesterday, at a prearranged meeting in a hotel parking lot in Colton, agents arrested two men and seized 18.5 kilos of cocaine.

Juan Mora Flores, 40, of Tecate, Mexico and Jose Vega Diaz, 47, of Whittier, CA, were arrested and booked at the Riverside County Jail. Both men are being held on $1 million bail.

The operation is the latest in a series of successful DOJ-led operations targeting transnational gangs across California. In June, DOJ agents led a multi-agency operation that led to the arrests of 101 transnational gang members in the Central Valley (http://oag.ca.gov/news/press_release?id=2512&y=&m=). In July, agents seized 18 kilos of cocaine from a vehicle that crossed the border at the Calexico port of entry http://oag.ca.gov/news/press_release?id=2538&y=&m=). In August, the DOJ dismantled a large-scale U.S.-Mexico prescription drug trafficking operation. (http://oag.ca.gov/news/press_release?id=2553&y=&m=).

In responding to transnational gang crime in California, the state Department of Justice provides a wide range of investigative skills and forensic resources. The Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA) is one of 52 California Department of Justice-led task forces that coordinate the response to our state’s growing gang and drug trafficking problems.

The Attorney General’s INCA Task Force is composed of the following agencies: Beaumont Police Department, California Alcohol Beverage and Control, California Highway Patrol, Corona Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Murrieta Police Department, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside Police Department and the San Bernardino Police Department.

A photo of the seized narcotics is attached to the electronic version of this release, which can be viewed at http://oag.ca.gov/.

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