After a series of raids across several counties in California, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Dec. 13, 2017, busted a multi-million dollar heroin ring that operated out of the San Fernando Valley, earning nearly $250,000 a week. According to authorities, the ring was highly sophisticated and functioned like a pizza delivery business, distributing packages of high-quality heroin and cocaine in colorful and white fluffy balls. The group largely supplied heroin to local clientele in and around Riverside and Santa Barbara counties.
At one specific location, DEA agents confiscated a huge quantity of narcotics, $15,000 in cash, and a vehicle with a trap door for concealing drugs. They also arrested 16 members of the ring. Describing the bust, Will Torrence, the DEA’s resident agent in charge of the Ventura County office, said that the ring members would receive hundreds of request on a daily basis for deliveries of heroin and cocaine.
Authorities have also arrested the leader of the ring, known as “Manny’s Delivery Business,” on drug-related charges and hoped this would lead to a permanent closure of the illegal business. The ring members would distribute drugs via a fleet of 20 cars with clandestine compartments to hide drug packets, driven by drivers with salaries, working shifts and paid leaves. They operated their call center out of a building to receive calls for drug supplies.
The investigation, being conducted for over past several months, coincides with the increasing number of drug overdose deaths involving heroin and opioids being reported from across the U.S. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the numbers of fatal heroin-overdose cases shot from 2,089 in 2002 to 13,219 in 2016, reflecting a sharp surge of 533 percent.
California is a hub for transnational drug trafficking
Mexican drug cartels earn billions of dollars annually by trafficking narcotics and other controlled substances into California, both for distribution within the state as well as for hoarding in the several stash houses before they make it to other major cities in the North and Northwest. Undoubtedly, California’s proximity to the Mexican borders in the Southwest, huge immigrant population and intricate network of interstate highways have transformed the Golden State into a significant gateway for drug smugglers.
Amid the rising dangers of drug trafficking in the state, law enforcement officials have left no stone unturned in combating the crisis. Federal, state and local authorities have designated four counties, namely Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange, as part of the Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), and the San Diego and Imperial Counties as part of the Southwest Border HIDTA to assist DEA agents in both these regions to identify drug-trafficking operations and transportation corridors and put an end to the menace.
Leading a drug-free life
Addiction to heroin is destroying communities across the US, particularly, in California due to easy availability of the drug. The white powder is not simply restricted to impoverished neighborhoods. Instead, its use is widespread even in the affluent suburbs, causing sharp increase in overdose deaths in recent years. It is noteworthy here that heroin is an illicit opioid, classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970. Studies show millions of Americans falling into the trap of heroin addiction faster than they could ever imagine, as the lethal drug makes its way into thousands of neighborhoods.
If you or a loved one is struggling to break free from addiction to heroin or any kind of drug, contact Sovereign Health of San Clemente that offers a variety of customized therapies for heroin addiction treatment in California. Our licensed clinicians use several approaches to resolving each underlying problem. Our treatments for heroin addiction in California are tailored to individual needs in order to treat an individual holistically. For more information, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives.