LOS ANGELES (CBS) — More than 160 pounds of methamphetamine was seized from drug labs run out of homes in Van Nuys and Pomona after the arrest of a Mexican man suspected of working as a runner for a drug-trafficking ring.
Alan Tamayo-Montoya, 25, was taken into custody Wednesday night and booked on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine for sale, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.Tamayo-Montoya is being held at El Monte City Jail on $2 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.
Tamayo-Montoya’s arrest led officials to two large-scale drug labs in separate homes in Van Nuys and Pomona. Investigators searching the unoccupied residences found supplies of a chemical commonly used to refine methamphetamine, plus drying equipment, scales and packaging materials, officials said. Specially-trained officers were needed to dismantle both operations and remove any hazardous materials.
“Drug making operations like this are a major public safety menace,” said Claude Arnold, ICE’s special agent-in-charge for Homeland Security Investigations Los Angeles. “First, stockpiling volatile chemicals in residential areas is a disaster waiting to happen. Then there’s the threat posed by meth itself.”
Investigators estimate the wholesale value of the seized drugs at close to $2 million. The street value would be at least three times that amount, officials said.