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Felipe Lopez

Family members allegedly ran heroin smuggling ring

For two decades, a Oaxacan Indian family allegedly ran an international drug ring that smuggled heroin through Tijuana into Southern California, generating millions of dollars in profit that returned to Mexico. And authorities said they did it undeterred by keeping it simple. Family members lived humbly, with underlings distributing the drugs in open view at parking lots of 99 Cents stores, Food 4 Less supermarkets, Home Depots and McDonald's restaurants. At these bustling locations, men inconspicuously trading brown shopping bags filled with heroin didn't seem out of place. They communicated using an Indian language from their home village -- initially stumping investigators...

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