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Local News in Brief : Costa Mesa : Drug Suspect Arrested in Reverse Sting; 2 Sought

In an unusual reverse sting operation, a Los Angeles man was arrested as he allegedly attempted to buy 2 kilograms of cocaine from Costa Mesa undercover officers, authorities said Thursday.

David Frederick Wolfson, 28, was arrested about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday outside a restaurant at 3046 Bristol St. in Costa Mesa, where he allegedly had agreed to buy the cocaine for $20,000, police said.

The arrest was the culmination of a 2-month investigation of an ostensible cocaine ring said to have been operating in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, said Sgt. Tom Boylan, narcotics investigator with the Costa Mesa Police Department.

Police have issued arrest warrants for two other men suspected of having been involved in the ring, Boylan said.

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One of them, Tom Venetis, 28, of Newport Beach, allegedly set up Wednesday’s transaction but failed to appear. Police say Venetis is also wanted for possession of 1 1/2 pounds of cocaine that a Boy Scout troop found in January stashed in a suitcase.

The troop found the suitcase on a nature hike in Newport Beach. The boy’s scoutmaster discovered the cocaine and alerted authorities. Venetis is still at large, police said.

The other man, Stavros I. Kalas, 28 of Newport Beach, was arrested in January in an alleged attempt to sell 4 ounces of cocaine, valued at about $20,000, to undercover officers. Kalas was released on bail and has left the country, Boylan said. He is believed to be in Australia, Boylan said. Kalas is now wanted for jumping bail and in connection with the alleged attempted cocaine sale.

Authorities believe Venetis and Kalas were partners in the drug ring and that Venetis, frightened when Kalas was arrested, hid the cocaine in the suitcase, Boylan said.

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