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Sacto 911: Seven arrested in Butte County drug trafficking investigation

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 - 5:30 pm

Seven people have been arrested and methamphetamine and firearms seized after federal and local law enforcement officials served search warrants in Butte County.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Sacramento District Office in cooperation with the Butte County Interagency Narcotics Task Force executed eight federal search warrants. Today's activities followed a 10-month-long investigation of a methamphetamine trafficking organization, according to an announcement by Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce C. Balzano and U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

Arrested today were Federico Sandoval Aguilar and Alejandro Lopez-Corona of Biggs; Rafael Morfin-Medina, Rickey Lee Xiong, Sou Xiong and Cindy Lee Hunter, all of Oroville; and Manual Garcia Navarro, whose place of residence was not given. Five other people, Guillermo Ventura-Lopez, David Milton Eleazar, Neng Chue Xiong, Pao Thao and Jaime Dominguez were not found and are considered fugitives, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration news release.

Approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine, five firearms, including one stolen weapon, and more than $70,000 in drug proceeds were seized as a result of the arrest and search warrants.

The complaint alleges that Federico Aguilar was the head of an organization distributing methamphetamine in Butte County and within the Eastern District of California. The organization was identified through information provided by confidential sources, surveillance of the organization's members, drug purchases made by undercover law enforcement officers and court authorized wiretaps of Aguilar and his associates, officials said.

The complaint alleges that couriers transported pound quantities of methamphetamine from Mexico to Butte County and, at the direction of Aguilar, members of the organization then sold the drugs to local associates for further distribution and sale.

Officials said the case began with information development by task for officers who asked the Sacramento Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration to join the investigation. Other participating agencies included the California Highway Patrol, Butte County Sheriff's Office, Chico Police Department, Butte County Probation Department, Butte County District Attorney's Office, the California Department of Justice Bureau of Gambling Control and the U.S. Marshal's Service.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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