Agents Clamp Down on a Drug Trafficking Ring with Ties to the Bay Area
CALIFORNIA – Three brothers with Bay Area connections are behind bars following a coordinated, tri-county drug raid in Madera, Santa Clara and Stanislaus Counties, launched in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Feb. 5, and ending at nearly midnight.
Ten agents assigned to SCCSET (Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team), served a search warrant on a home in San Jose on Atwood Drive, near Aborn and East Capitol Expressway. The agents seized five pounds of processed marijuana, along with $12,900 in cash and a Chrysler 300.At the same time, seven SCCSET agents, along with six agents assigned to MADNET (Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team), served search warrants in Madera County. One, at a home on Olympia Road near Avenue 20, where agents seized seven 40-gallon trash bags containing 179 pounds of packaged processed marijuana, and $61,005 in cash. Another, at a home on Avenue 18 ½, near the Pilot Truck Stop off CA-99, where agents recovered eight 40-gallon trash bags loaded with at least 200 pounds of packaged processed marijuana, $30,320 in cash, a 12-gauge shotgun and a 22 caliber rifle, both loaded.
Taken into custody:
1. Jose Negrete Vazquez, 60, arrested at a home on Olympia Rd. in Madera.
2. Guadalupe Jose Negrete, 54, arrested at a home on Avenue 18 ½ in Chowchilla.
3. Jesus Negrete Vazquez, 56, arrested at the Avenue 18 ½ home in Chowchilla as well. He reportedly resides in Modesto.
Then, late Tuesday afternoon, SCCSET agents, with assistance from MMNTF (Merced Multi-Agency Narcotic Task Force), served a fourth search warrant at a home in Modesto, where agents recovered 20 pounds of processed marijuana and $1,400 in cash.
In all, agents seized nearly $106,000 in cash, and over 400 pounds of processed marijuana, with an estimated street value of more than $1 million.
All four raids were the direct result of a tip San Jose authorities received several weeks ago about a major marijuana distribution ring operating in California.
Sheriff John Anderson says agents discovered that the core of this operation was located in Madera County, which he says is fast becoming a key distribution point for narcotic drug trafficking.
Agents say all four homes (San Jose, Modesto, Chowchilla and Madera) are connected to the to the “Negrete brothers.”
During the course of their investigation, agents say the “Negrete brothers” supervised at least two plywood grows in Madera County, that were able to produce as much as much as 2,000 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated street value of nearly half a million dollars.
The grows were able to render between four and five pounds per plant.
While MADNET was conducting its own investigation, SCCSET (Santa Clara Specialized Enforcement Team) was working on a case that led them to Madera County, where they discovered a sophisticated drug trafficking organization with ties to Mexico.
It is alleged that the “Negrete brothers” have been growing marijuana in the county of Madera, using the Madera and Chowchilla homes as processing stations, and then trafficking the contraband elsewhere for sale.
Agents believe Madera County served as the drug ring’s focal point, and the homes in San Jose and Modesto served as its drop-off sites.
Despite these arrests, the investigation is still ongoing. Anyone who may have information is urged to either call Santa Clara Authorities, or MADNET’s 24-hour tip line: 559-675-7776.
Meantime, the “Negrete brothers” were transported to Santa Clara County and booked on a host of felony drug charges.