California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Tuesday announced the arrest of two men in the Inland Empire who are believed to be associated with the La Familia drug cartel from Michoacan, Mexico.
Jesus Espinoza and Jose Manuel Guizar-Gaytan, both 25, were arraigned in Riverside Superior Court on gun and drug charges. A statement said police raided a Moreno Valley home and storage locker and found 18 pounds of methamphetamine, three assault rifles and a .50 caliber sniper rifle.
“The fight against transnational gangs continues to be a priority for the California Department of Justice,” Harris said. Espinoza is from San Diego. Guizar-Gaytan is from Mexico. Both pled not guilty, and bail was set at $500,000 for each, according to the statement.
The arrests are the latest evidence of cartel activity in Southern California. Earlier this month, Harris announced the arrest of four men allegedly associated with the Sinaloa Cartel who attempted to sell 25 pounds of methamphetamine to an undercover agent.
Last month, police in the northwestern Mexican state of Baja California seized more than $1 million that the Sinaloa cartel had reportedly made from drug sales in Los Angeles.
In July, a 27-year-old woman believed to be a "main U.S.-based operative" of La Familia was arrested in El Monte, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times. She was deported.
And in announcing the arrest of 750 people as part of a 2009 nationwide investigation that targeted the Sinaloa Cartel, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said: "International drug trafficking organizations pose a sustained, serious threat to the safety and security of our communities."