Rina Palta / KPCC
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Nelson announces charges against an alleged Pomona-based meth smuggling ring with ties to Mexican drug cartel and local street gangs.
A federal indictment unsealed Thursday brought charges against 27 members of an alleged meth smuggling operation out of Pomona and Ontario, California. In a predawn raid, federal and local agencies arrested 16 of the indicted defendants. Officials are calling the bust "Operation Crystal Light."
A few additional defendants were already in custody on separate charges and four are fugitives. Police are looking specifically for the alleged ring leader, Jose Juan Garcia Barron — who they say has ties to the Mexican drug carted La Familia Michoacana (LFM).
Authorities say Barron would purchase meth from a supplier in Mexico and arrange its shipment to the U.S., where another defendant, Martin Barron Alcazar, would receive the shipment and direct it to a stash house in Ontario.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Nelson said that the operation resembled the one portrayed in the James Bond Movie, "License to Kill."