Dozens charged in Mexico-U.S. drug smuggling scheme - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Dozens charged in Mexico-U.S. drug smuggling scheme

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A nearly two-year investigation into a drug trafficking organization led to the arrests of 16 people in San Diego and the seizure of more than 1,000 pounds of methamphetamine and $200,000 in cash along with cocaine, heroin and marijuana, according to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

"Operation Knight Stalker'' targeted legacy members of the La Familia Michoacan drug cartel and members of the Knights Templar Cartel in California and Mexico.

In all, San Diego prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 30 people, charging them with transportation and possession for sale of meth, cocaine and heroin, along with conspiracy and child endangerment.

Dumanis said that during the investigation, drugs were found in cars and stash houses and taped to the bodies of smugglers.

"This operation gives you a window into the continuing large-scale drug trafficking that continues to plague San Diego County across the U.S.-Mexico border,'' Dumanis said. "The internal dynamics of these dangerous cartels is constantly changing, but operations like this one cripple their ability to do business.''

Early in the investigation, intelligence revealed that La Familia Michoacan was embroiled in a turf war with an offshoot group known as Knights Templar Cartel. That led to an all-out war between the two groups, contributing to the rise in power of the Knights Templar Cartel in Mexico and the United States, authorities said.

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