Police Seize Cocaine Worth $75 Million

Times Staff Writer

Following a tip that led to the San Gabriel Valley, Glendale narcotics investigators seized 1,276 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $75 million and made eight arrests over the Labor Day weekend in the largest drug seizure ever made by the department.

Assisted by officers from the Torrance and Redondo Beach police departments in an investigation spurred by an anonymous tip several weeks ago, the Glendale officers searched six locations in Monterey Park, Alhambra and San Gabriel on Friday and Saturday. They found the cocaine in two underground safes in Monterey Park, Lt. Mike Post said.

The seizure brings the total confiscated this year to 3,364 pounds, more than six times the amount seized in 1988, Post said.

Arrested were Ferney Tavera, 26; Ana Tulia Agudelo, 71; Guillermo Quizeno, 31; Maria Cecilia Guevara, 24; Albaro Blandon, 30; Robert Duke Montoya, 26, all of Monterey Park; Luis Alfonso Varela, 26, of Alhambra, and Adolfo Leon Guevara, 28, of San Gabriel.

Post said Tuesday at a press conference that some of the suspects arrested were Colombian citizens and others were "second- and third-generation Colombians who are American citizens recruited by their Colombian relatives." Post said he didn't know which of those arrested were American citizens and which were not.

All were charged with conspiracy and possession of cocaine for sale. Bail was set at $5 million each.

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