FRESNO : U.S. Accuses 12 of Smuggling Pot
A federal grand jury has indicted 12 people, accusing them of being members of a Tulare County-based marijuana smuggling ring that has been operating for more than a year. The indictments charged the 12 with 22 counts each of conspiracy and smuggling marijuana. U.S. Atty. David Levi said members of the alleged ring, which operated in three states, brought more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States from Mexico in 11 trips between January, 1989, and Dec. 31, 1989, by concealing it in secret compartments built into motor homes. He said the marijuana was smuggled across the border crossings in Texas, Arizona and California. Levi said Amador Barragan, 35, and Alberto Barragan, 32, both of Porterville, were the leaders of the smuggling ring. All suspects are in custody, Levi said.