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Area Drug Raids Net 7 Arrests, $118-Million Cocaine Seizures

In the latest crackdown on drug smuggling in Southern California, police Thursday arrested seven reputed top drug dealers and confiscated 418 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $118 million.

Arrested in Thursday’s four raids in Walnut and Ontario were six Colombian nationals and one Nicaraguan, Los Angeles Police Sgt. Michael Celmer said.

The latest raid brings the Los Angeles Police Department’s 1986 cocaine seizure total to 4,371 pounds--already up 70% over last year’s entire total of 2,566 pounds. The cocaine seized so far this year has a street value of $1.23 billion, while last year’s total figure amounted to $754 million.

Arrested were Juan Jesus Carvajal, 29; Oscar Orlando Carvajal, 30; Jose Antonio Martinez, 41; Wilson Montoya, 20, all of Ontario; and Smilia Franks, 44; Carlos Julio Palacios, 21, and Ligia Vinciquerra, 31, all of Walnut. Bail was set at $1 million each.

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Arraignment on the charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine is scheduled for April 28 in an as-yet-undetermined location, police said.


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