A $3.5-million check from the U.S. Customs Service was accepted Tuesday by Sheriff Sherman Block as Los Angeles County’s share of the $3.9 million seized from a drug dealer last year during a joint investigation with customs agents.
Quintin Villanueva, regional commissioner for the U.S. Customs Service, said it was “the largest single amount of seized currency ever awarded to a West Coast law enforcement agency by the federal government.”
The investigation led to the arrest of Jose Gutierrez Martinez at a Maywood house last Nov. 2. Nearly a ton of cocaine was seized along with two AK-47 rifles and three pistols.
Block, who was also joined at the Hall of Justice news conference by U.S. Atty. Robert Bonner and U.S. Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.), displayed 1,632 pounds of cocaine seized in a series of weekend raids by his department, the FBI, Customs agents and officers from the Brea, Huntington Park and Montebello police departments. Eight reputed Colombian drug traffickers were arrested in the raids.