SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A narcotics and weapons trafficking ring involving the Southland Iraqi community and a major Mexican drug cartel is no longer in business on Friday after a raid by federal law enforcement officials.
KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports the suspects linked to the Chaldean Organized Crime Syndicate were caught selling large amounts of illegal drugs, guns and IEDs, or improvised explosive devices.
Authorities raided an Iraqi social club at 811 E. Main St. in El Cajon that was described as the hub of drug sales, gambling, prostitution, and other criminal activity.
Local and federal officers who took part in “Operation Shadow Box” said the smugglers were also found to be shipping IEDs from El Cajon to Iraqis in Detroit, where the Chaldean syndicate is based.
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said police also found “another individual in possession of a pipe bomb that contained gunpowder, marbles and nails, and it was designed in such a way to be used as a weapon”.
In all, police arrested 60 people and seized 18 pounds of methamphetamine, ecstasy, cocaine and other drugs, along with more than 3,500 pounds of marijuana; $630,000 in cash; four IEDs; and more than 30 guns, including assault rifles.