4 of 7 Charged in Cocaine Seizure Plead Guilty

Four of seven men arrested in December in Baldwin Park, Hacienda Heights and Reseda and charged with conspiring to ship nearly 5,000 pounds of cocaine to the East Coast in three tractor-trailer trucks pleaded guilty this week before their trial was to start in federal court in Los Angeles.

The four who pleaded guilty--Ramon Quintana, 38, of Bergenfield, N.J.; Eduardo Alvarez, 31, of Chester, N.Y.; Guillermo Fernandez, 37, of Miami, and Jair DeJesus Mejia, 29, of Reseda, each face sentences of up to 10 years to life in prison and fines of $4 million. Anaheim police were led to the huge cocaine cache--the second largest ever seized in California--by a tip, investigators said.

The remaining three defendants, on trial before U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer, are Hernan Aristizabal, 39, of Miami; Jose Faber Rodriguez-Zapata, 42, of Whittier, and Jose Bermudez Sosa, 42, of Prospect Park, N.J.