WILMINGTON, LOS ANGELES (KABC) --Law enforcement agents seized 83 kilograms of cocaine being offloaded from a bus at a business in Wilmington, officials said.
The drug has a street value of roughly $10 million, or wholesale for $2.1 million. Officials said the tour bus was arriving from Mexico, and the cocaine appeared to be cartel-related.
"The tour bus behind me crossed the Mexican border at about 4:30 a.m. We were able to follow it up to this location and make observations that they began to offload narcotics from the bus," said Special Agent Supervisor Brian Rose of LA IMPACT.
The LA IMPACT task force, which involves multiple local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, believe the Mexican drug cartels were shipping narcotics to the same auto shop at least four times over the past week.
"We suspect that the shop is just a transition point. This is a place where they unload and probably ship them out to a stash location in the L.A. area today," Rose added.
Officials said the cocaine was found inside a 15-foot-long tube hidden in the interior of the bus.
Three Mexican nationals were arrested, identified by officers as: Victor Sainz Miranda, the driver, Jaime Ignacio Jimenez, the owner of the shop, and Humberto Vasquez, an employee.
Jonathan Mendez, a relative of Jimenez, said he thinks the business owner was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.
LA IMPACT said the task force, comprised of more than 80 officers, conducts up to 10 narcotics seizures a week but usually not as large as this one.