Tulare County Sheriff’s Office along with state agencies take down drug trafficking and arms dealing operations linked to Sinaloa Mexican Drug Cartel

At 7 a.m. on 3/14/24, 21 teams from state, local and federal agencies served 31 simultaneous search warrants at various homes throughout Tulare, Kings and Fresno counties. These warrants were the result of a nine-month investigation into information the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office received about a large amount of meth that was being transported between Kings and Tulare County.

At that time, the Tulare County Tactical – High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Unit (or TNT-HIDTA) identified two suspects and the investigation continued.

Throughout the next several months, TNT-HIDTA investigated these drug trafficking organizations further and developed more information about their operations up and down the state, as well as across state lines. Detectives quickly learned Tulare County was being used as a hub to traffic illegal drugs coming from Mexico. During these operations, more suspects were identified, more drugs were found and more guns and cash were confiscated.

In October 2023, TNT-HIDTA and the DEA began working together on a larger scale operation naming it, “Operation SLO Ride”.

Up until now, “Operation SLO Ride” has seized 389 pounds of meth, 70 grams of cocaine, 3.5 kilos of heroin, 8 pounds of

Operation SLO Ride, March 14, 2024

fentanyl, about $340,000 in cash, 18 handguns and 12 rifles.

The operation has identified and disrupted two drug trafficking organizations with 28 suspects. Drug Trafficking Operations have been dismantled in Visalia, Tulare, Porterville, Orosi, Dinuba, Corcoran, Armona, Reedley and Exeter.

“Operation SLO Ride” went through the holidays and wrapped up today.

This morning, teams from across the state went after known drug traffickers in our area with direct ties to the Sinaloa Mexican Drug Cartel.

Of the 31 locations, 37 known drug traffickers were arrested; 22 will face federal charges related to narcotics and/or the sales of drugs, 15 will face state charges.

During this morning’s operation, a total of 214 pounds of meth, 3.5 kilo of cocaine, 5 shotguns, 15 handguns, 7 rifles, one bullet-proof vest and $300,476 were seized.

In total, “Operation SLO Ride” netted 85 arrests (28 of which were federal), 955 pounds of meth, 6.5 kilos of cocaine, 64,020 fentanyl pills, 81 guns and $640,476 in cash.

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