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Detectives in Santa Ana arrest drug gang

Published On: 05-01-2017 in Category: addiction, drug abuse, Drug bust

Detectives of the Santa Ana Police Department have arrested three gang members in the Garden Grove area of northern Orange County. Authorities recently arrested 43-year-old Gilbert Deleon, 21-year-old Jose Lopez and 42-year-old Pedro Fernandez from a home in Garden Grove where one of the gang members lived.

According to the authorities, a thorough search of the house led to the discovery of considerable contraband associated with the street gang. Additionally, several firearms, deadly narcotics and bulletproof vests were also found in the home.

According to Santa Ana Police Corporal Anthony Bertagna, investigating officers seized about 10 firearms comprising seven handguns, two shotguns and one short-barrel assault rifle, more than 20 ounces of illicit drugs, gang signage and ballistic protection. Bertagna believed that the Garden Grove house was owned by Deleon, one of the three arrested gang members.

Drug menace in Orange County

Just as in most parts of California, Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) control most of the organized crime and narcotics distribution activities around Los Angeles, San Diego and the Orange County area. It is not an uncommon occurrence in Orange County to see federal and local law enforcement authorities join hands to eliminate the leaders of the Mexican drug mafia and weaken their strong influence over the street gangs responsible for the immense mayhem and drug-related violence in different neighborhoods.

Most gangs operating in Orange County and the surrounding counties attribute their successful drug trafficking endeavors to the geographical proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border, which boosts the odds of cost-effective drug availability and distribution when compared to the rest of the United States. This is, indeed, a matter of concern for authorities in Orange County, because drugs often transit through this region before making it to other parts of the country. Authorities believe that drug use trends in the county serve as indicators of national trends.

Studies have suggested that in the past years, methamphetamine used to be the drug of choice throughout Orange County. Major drug busts in the past suggest that the La Familia cartel, based in Michoacán, Mexico, has always been the top most distributor of methamphetamine in these areas. But in the southern parts of the County, the authorities have observed a surge in prescription opioid abuse and overdoses leading to heroin use.

Nowadays, party drugs are wreaking havoc across communities, particularly adolescents and young adults. Urban centers abounding in nightlife across Orange County are fertile grounds to distribute club drugs such as ketamine, gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), phencyclidine (PCP) and ecstasy.

Besides Orange County, Mexican drug cartels carry out their operations in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties, taking advantage of the Southern California’s ungovernable expanses of rugged wilderness to transport drugs into U.S. territory. The Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) region comprising Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties is responsible for curbing the drug menace posed by drug traffickers in the region.

Recovering from addiction

If you or your loved one is battling addiction to any harmful substance, seek treatment immediately. The Orange County Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you get one of the best addiction treatment programs and embrace sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 714-202-4669 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.

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