7 arrested, 6 sought after multi-agency investigation into LA Harbor Area drug trafficking
Several arrests were made Tuesday, Nov. 16, as a result of a multi-agency effort dubbed Operation “Wipe Out,” the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office announced.
Seven defendants were arrested in Los Angeles, San Diego, Bullhead City and Calexico for their roles in a drug trafficking organization operating out of the Harbor Area of Los Angeles. Six others are still being sought after by authorities.
Those arrested made their initial appearances in federal court in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday.
The 13 defendants are named in four separate indictments that outlines various charges of illegal transactions, including undercover purchases of firearms and narcotics such as methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine.
The defendants arrested today include:
- Adrian Abasolo, 26, of San Diego;
- Alejandro Mendoza, 45, of Los Angeles;
- Hector Valentin, 28, of Long Beach;
- Rodolfo Ulyses, 61, of Bullhead City, Arizona;
- Juan Antonio Aguilar-Bravo, 45, of Calexico;
- Gabriela Contreras, 42, of Gardena; and
- Marisela Sanchez, 43, of Wilmington.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Harbor Division and the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force launched an investigation into the operation in 2020. Undercover officers conducted dozens of operations between April and July of 2021 that led to the suspected individuals, according to the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
Authorities recovered 250 pounds of methamphetamine and one pound of fentanyl during that period, as well as 6 handguns and one rifle.
The other six defendants charged in the indictment and still wanted by law enforcement include:
- Hector Yair Sanchez, 25, of Pomona;
- Christian Garcia, 29, of Long Beach;
- Jorge Luis Perez Sandoval, 36, of Victorville;;
- Luis Fernando Verdugo; 25, of Pacoima;
- Alexander Guerrero; 42, of Los Angeles; and
- Oscar Humberto Gallegos, 35, of San Diego.
The case was a joint effort by the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Gang and Narcotics Division, its Harbor Division and LA IMPACT.
The cases are being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.
The defendants face between five years and life in federal prison if convicted, according to authorities.