Twenty-one kilograms of fentanyl was seized in Chino during an investigation into a large-scale, Mexico-based narcotics trafficking operation where hundreds of pounds of narcotics came into the United States.
During the 10-month investigation, federal authorities seized 400 kilograms of cocaine, 225 kilograms of methamphetamine, 53 kilograms of fentanyl, 12 kilograms of heroin and $4.7 million in drug money.
Arrested were Jiaze Xia, 23, of New York; Joshua Donovan Cortez, 31, of Rowland Heights; Jose Vargas, 61, of Huntington Park; Remigio Alvarez, 49, of Maywood; Alejandro Medrano, 20, of San Diego; Wei Chang Gong, 30, of Chicago; Rogelio Payan-Palma, 27, of Mexico City; Guohua Luo, 35, of China; Pierre Vincent Fuentes, 30, of San Diego; and Jimmy Zhi Qiana Yu, 45, of Pasadena.
In 2016, authorities seized 236 pounds of methamphetamine in Cedar City, Utah, and 88 kilograms of methamphetamine at San Ysidro, during the investigation. In 2017, 275 kilograms were seized at Mr. Cortez’ home in Bell, which was located across the street from an elementary school, 21 kilograms of fentanyl in Chino and 32 kilograms of fentanyl in Sun Valley.
If convicted, the defendants are facing a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole, authorities said.