400 kilos of cocaine, $4.7M seized in DEA bust of drug trafficking ring from Mexico

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Officials released new details on the bust of an alleged drug-running ring that brought hundreds of pounds of drugs from Mexico into the United States.

Over 10 months, federal authorities seized nearly 400 kilograms of cocaine, 225 kilograms of meth, 53 kilograms of fentanyl, 12 kilograms of heroin and $4.7 million in drug money.

The Department of Justice said in a press release that six people were arrested on federal charges this week, including three from the Los Angeles area, as part of Operation Colombian Cargo. Authorities say Joshua Donovan Cortez, 31, of Rowland Heights, and Jose Vargas, 61, of Huntington Park, operated stash houses, while Remigio Alvarez Herrera, 49, of Maywood, was an alleged drug courier.

The trafficking ring allegedly used smugglers to bring the drugs across the border, often at the San Ysidro port of entry. The drugs were then distributed around the Inland Empire and the L.A. area.

Cortez, Vargas and Herrera pleaded not guilty during an arraignment hearing on Wednesday. They were ordered to stand trial on July 23.

In total, 25 people have been charged in this case. Several others are already in custody.
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