Posted by Phoenix Drug Crimes Attorney Nick Alcock:
Tempe police, together with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Arizona Attorney General’s office, dismantled an elaborate drug trafficking cell linked to the highly dangerous and often deadly Sinaloa Cartel from Mexico. The Sinaloa Cartel is a drug trafficking criminal organization based out of Mexico headed by Leonel Galvez Leal, Norberto Meza Montoya and Jose Alonzo Rodriguez Rosas. Based on a tip from an anonymous informant, Tempe police are claiming that 20 people have now been detained and $2.4 million was found after a six-month investigation involving local and federal authorities. The operation is being considered by authorites as an excellent demonstration of a collaborative effort by state and federal law enforcement agencies.
After obtaining 15 search warrants, “Operation Nayarit Stampede,” resulted in 20 arrests and the confiscation of 14 firearms, $2.4 million in cash, 3 tons of marijuana, 30 pounds of methamphetamine, a Cessna 421 C Aircraft and 10 vehicles. The operation, conducted in conjunction with the DEA, stemmed from an investigation into possible drop houses in the 1200 block of West Jeanine Drive and the 1200 block South McClintock Drive in Tempe, police said. Based on information obtained from the drop houses, detectives pieced together evidence of a drug ring connected to the Sinaloa Cartel that distributed drugs to Tempe, New York, Alabama, California and other parts of the country, police said. The DEA Special Agent in Charge said the bust was aimed at attacking a drug trafficking organization that stretched across the Mexico border and into Arizona.