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Cocaine Seizure, 5 Arrests Linked to Cali Cartel

Federal agents in Los Angeles and Orange counties seized 450 pounds of cocaine worth more than $4 million and arrested five Colombian nationals linked to a major drug cartel, authorities said Monday.

“I think we put a dent in the Cali (drug) cartel,” said John Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Customs Service. "(The suspects) were pretty well placed in the organization.”

Concluding a two-month undercover investigation last week, federal agents arrested Jorge Ortiz, 35, of Garden Grove, and Jaime Garcia, 35, of Palos Verdes Estates. The two men allegedly were the cartel’s supervisors in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

Agents also seized about $200,000 in cash during raids on homes in Laguna Niguel, Palos Verdes Estates and Garden Grove, Miller said.

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The cocaine seized has an estimated street value of $4.2 million, authorities said.

Also arrested were: Fernando Urrutia, 36, of San Francisco, a federal fugitive wanted in Miami on suspicion of smuggling more than 1,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States; Elkin Agudelo, 30, also of San Francisco, and Elma Rosa Subazso, 30, of Los Angeles.


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