More than 30 locations in Turlock, Merced, and surrounding the area were searched Wednesday, leading to the arrested of several methamphetamine traffickers.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced Wednesday that a three-month, multi-agency law enforcement operation, called “Operation Red Eye,” had culminated on Wednesday. In total, 41 people were arrested in Wednesday’s operation, according to CentralValleyTV.
More than 30 locations, primarily in Merced, were raided on Wednesday. CentralValleyTV reports that the California Department of Justice served a search warrant to a residence on Rockwood Avenue in Turlock in connection to this operation.
Six of those 41 arrested, according to a press release issued by the California Department of Justice, are being charged federally with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and other controlled substances: Luis Tejada-Hurtado, 24, of Merced; Raul Reyes-Recio, 44, of Merced; Roberto Alfonso Gomez, 25, of Merced; Larry Duncan, 23, of Merced and Blytheville, Ark.; Charlotte Miller, of Blytheville, Ark.; and Alyncia Elliot, 22, of Merced.
Additionally, 20 guns, six pounds of cocaine, and $98,000 in cash were seized in Wednesday’s raids.
According the press release, Tejada-Hurtado and Reyes-Recio are large-scale meth traffickers. Agents allegedly seized approximately 30 pounds of meth from the two in November 2013.
Duncan is allegedly a methamphetamine customer of Tejada-Hurtado and Gomez. In April 2014, a vehicle owned by Duncan and Gomez was towed after a traffic stop. They were unaware that law enforcement found two kilograms of methamphetamine that had been stored in vehicle. Gomez, Elliot (Duncan’s girlfriend), and Miller (Duncan’s mother) looked to gain access to the vehicle to retrieve the meth. Additionally, Miller allegedly assisted Duncan in paying for the meth by providing money that had been stored in Blytheville, Ark. to individuals who were to deposit the money into a bank for the benefit of Tejada-Hurtado. Approximately $13,100 was seized by the Second Judicial District Task Force in Blytheville, Ark.
This operation was the product of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (in Merced and Arkansas); the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigations; Merced Multi-Agency Narcotic Task Force; and the Second Judicial Drug Task Force in Arkansas.
If convicted, the defendants could face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $4 million fine.
Photo Courtesy of CentralValleyTV