Local

Meth bust in Ceres worth more than $2.5 million

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Authorities say a massive meth bust in the North Valley will make a noticeable difference in the area's drug problem.

Narcotics agents found about 290 pounds of meth at a home in Stanislaus County. The home is on Hardy Court near Central Avenue in Ceres.

The meth authorities found in the home has an estimated street value of more than $2.5 million.

The Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency says this is the largest meth seizure in its 40 year history, big enough to make an impact in Merced County as well.

Pictures from Modesto police show the containers and suitcases full of methamphetamine found inside the Ceres home on Tuesday. The house sits in a quiet cul-de-sac across the street from an elementary school. One woman who did not want to be identified says she and other neighbors are shocked.

"I would have never known, never. There was never a lot of traffic, you know, I had no idea."

Local narcotics agents and Homeland Security officers also seized $66,000 in cash from the home and arrested two suspects. Luis Sandoval and Victor Torres are booked in jail on charges of possessing and transporting meth.

Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin said, "Methamphetamine is still the scourge of California and really the United States as far as I'm concerned."

Sheriff Mark Pazin says the Valley no longer has the hundreds of meth labs that plagued the area in recent years -- partly because of a crackdown on the medicine used to make it. Instead, the drugs are being brought across the border.

"Those persons at the top of the drug cartel pyramid, again, they're not as dumb as they look," said Sheriff Mark Pazin. "So now they're making the poison across the border in the Latin American countries, and they're transporting it here to the Central Valley where it's being dispersed."

Authorities say gang members help distribute the meth, and those who use it often steal to support their habit. Sheriff Pazin says the bust in Ceres could help curb crime across the region.

"Every little bit helps," said Sheriff Pazin. "This is not a little bit, this is major, so if we can take that out of the market place, that is a huge victory for law enforcement."

Authorities say the investigation into these drugs is still ongoing, and more arrests are possible.

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Tags:
crimetracker, drug bust, north valley, sheriff mark pazin, local, sara sandrik
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