Los Angeles: Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Narcotics Division, Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (LA IMPACT), Los Angeles City Fire Department and Vernon Police Department joined forces to arrest narcotics suspects, believed to be responsible for a major cocaine trafficking operation.
On Sunday, December 19, 2004, around 10:00 a.m., detectives assigned to Narcotics Division, Major Violators Section, received information that an organized group of individuals were involved in trafficking large amounts of cocaine. Detectives identified a location in the 2600 block of South Santa Fe Avenue in the City of Vernon.
Detectives monitored the location and used members of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Metropolitan Division to assist with the tactical operation due to the likelihood of violence initiated by members of this trafficking organization.
At approximately 1:30 p.m., two vehicles entered the private alley to the rear of the location. Four men were seen getting out of the first vehicle and enter the rear door of the location. The second driver of the vehicle repositioned his vehicle to block the south alley entrance and monitor traffic. About five minutes later, the four men came out the rear door of the location carrying a blue fabric sleeping bag, which contained multiple brown brick-sized packages of cocaine. The bag was tossed in the rear of the suspects’ vehicle and all suspects got in.
Personnel from the Los Angeles Police Department stopped both vehicles and detained the suspects for suspicion of narcotics violations. Five adult suspects were taken into custody without incident. Detectives recovered 90 kilos of Cocaine with a street value of approximately $21 million from the suspects’ vehicle. The defendants were transported and booked at Parker Center Jail on charges of 182 PC Conspiracy /11352 H&S, Traffic & Distribute Cocaine. Bail was set at five million dollars for each defendant.
Defendant 1 Mejia, Salvador (01-20-1977), Bkg# 8392465
Defendant 2 Nix, James (11-17-1973), Bkg# 8392444
Defendant 3 Luna, Eliseo (12-14-76), Bkg# 8392447
Defendant 4 Hernandez, Esteban (12-14-1976), Bkg# 8392448
Defendant 5 Saucedo, Ruben A. (10-17-1976), Bkg# 8392463
This investigation is being conducted by Narcotics Division.
This new release was prepared by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.