DEA agents raid Compton home allegedly connected to ruthless Mexican drug cartel

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Video exclusive to Eyewitness News shows a major raid in Compton Wednesday morning as federal agents arrested a man accused of facilitating the distribution of drugs for Jalisco New Generation Cartel, one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the world, according to authorities.

Cartel member Gregory Sotello was arrested at a Compton home and charged with transportation and possession of narcotics, as well as possession of an assault rifle with narcotics.

Investigators say Sotello would pick up drugs from Mexican sources and distribute them to gang members throughout the Los Angeles area. Those drugs would then be sold across the country.

The arrest was the result of Project Python, a six-month operation to disrupt the Mexican drug cartel's activity in Los Angeles. The effort also led to more than 700 arrests, 350 indictments, and seizures of $22 million worth of money and assets as well as 20,000 kilograms of drugs in connection to the cartel, also known as Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación, according to the DEA.

"Project Python is the single largest strike by U.S. authorities against CJNG, and this is just the beginning," said Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon.

A DEA drug-threat report issued in 2017 said the cartel's primary product is methamphetamine, with main U.S. distribution hubs in Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta. The cartel once shot down a Mexican military helicopter with a rocket launcher, according to officials.

"CJNG has a nationwide presence, but its primary drug distribution hubs are located in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta," officials said in a written statement. "CJNG also have a strong and ever growing presence along the Southwest Border."

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In September of 2018, the Department of Justice announced 15 indictments across six jurisdictions against leading members of the cartel, including the leader, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, also known as "El Mencho."

The DEA in Los Angeles has been leading an investigation into "El Mencho" and the cartel since about 2011, officials say.

Last month, Oseguera Cervantes' daughter joined her brother in federal custody. Jessica Johanna Oseguera Gonzalez, who frequently answers to the nickname "La Negra," was arrested after coming from Mexico to attend the criminal hearing for her brother, Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez, known as "El Menchito."

The family's businesses, which include two sushi restaurants, a resort, an ad agency and a tequila company all in Mexico, were blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department.

A reward for up to $10 million is being offered for information leading to the capture of "El Mencho."

Those with information on his whereabouts can remain anonymous and are urged to contact the DEA Los Angeles Field Division tip-line at 213-237-9990 or email at Menchotips@usdoj.gov.
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