Cops bust "La Familia" members
D.C. police and federal officials have arrested eight men with ties to Mexico's La Familia drug cartel who sought to set up operations in the Washington metro area, law enforcement officials said.
Authorities also have seized millions of dollars worth of methamphetamine as part of the investigation.
Undercover police and ICE agents arrested the men on federal conspiracy charges last week and the authorities are expected to make a formal announcement on Wednesday. Investigators served search warrants in three states and arrested the men Dec. 10, during raids which netted pounds of crystal meth and dozens of gallons of liquid meth, the sources said.
Authorities seized an estimated $5 million worth of crystal meth during raids near Atlanta. Officials also recovered six pounds of marijuana, three guns, and more than $15,000 in cash, from raids in the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina and in Temple Hills.
The investigation followed a purchase by a police informant and an undercover officer of a kilo of cocaine and five pounds of crystal meth in mid-November, from a local trafficker in the D.C. area, the law enforcement officials said.
That led investigators to a larger deal two days later. They met with a suspected La Familia cartel leader in Winston-Salem to discuss the purchase of large quantities of crystal meth. That leader, identified by authorities as Alberto Garcia Calderon, told undercover officers that he had unlimited amounts of meth and would to begin distribution in the Washington area, the sources said.
The officers and Calderon agreed to meet on Dec. 8, when authorities received nearly six pounds of meth from a house near Atlanta, the sources said. Two days later, undercover officers said they would pay the La Familia members more than $100,000 for 20 pounds of meth, in Winston Salem. Instead, ICE agents arrested four men in North Carolina, while other agents simultaneously raided two drug houses in Atlanta.
Authorities arrested and charged eight men in U.S. District Court in D.C. on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute crystal meth, the sources said. All the men are illegal immigrants, the sources said, and face extradition to the District.
| December 14, 2010; 3:37 PM ET
Categories: Clarence Williams, From the Courthouse, Narcotics, The District, The Region
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