Authorities discovered more than 160 pounds of methamphetamines this week being cooked up in two labs -- one in Van Nuys and one in Pomona – with an estimated street value of well over $6 million, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced today.
ICE officials, working closely with the DEA and police from El Monte and Santa Monica, raided the labs late Wednesday night following the arrest of a 25-year-old suspected drug runner from Mexico.
“After obtaining state search warrants, investigators entered the unoccupied residences and found supplies of a chemical commonly used to refine methamphetamine, along with drying equipment, scales and packaging materials,” ICE officials said. Specially trained agents spent the next day removing the dangerous and often highly explosive substances.
Investigators got a break in finding the labs with the arrest of Alan Tamayo-Montoya, 25, a Mexican national suspected of being a runner in an international meth ring. He was apprehended in a parking lot in Van Nuys, authorities said, and booked in the El Monte City Jail. Tamayo is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.
Briane Grey, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Los Angeles Division, said in a statement that “Over the past year, we have started to see an increasing number of drug labs in our area.” He promised authorities would “continue to identify and dismantle those threatening our communities with poisonous labs and drugs.”