Posted Oct 09, 2008 06:20 pm CDT
After an 18-month investigation, a record $9.5 million has been seized and 35 people indicted by six grand juries in an alleged scheme to smuggle illegal drugs north from Mexico to nearby Imperial County, California, and cash south from Imperial County to Mexico.
The indictments were announced yesterday by U.S. Attorney Karen Hewitt, who says the $9.5 million is the most ever seized by her office in one case, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Dubbed “Operation Money Train,” the alleged scheme at the center of the case involved six cells of the Mexican drug-smuggling operation known as the Sinaloa cartel, Hewitt says.
In addition to the $9.5 million, authorities also seized several thousand pounds of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. Of the 35 people indicted, 19 have been arrested, four of them in Mexico.