Crime & Justice

California authorities arrest 3 suspects in murder-for-hire plot


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California authorities have arrested three men in an alleged murder-for-hire plot. The state’s top prosecutor maintains that the scheme’s connected to a major Mexican drug cartel.

An early morning raid involved dozens of special agents from the California Department of Justice. They descended first on a home in Palmdale, where two of the suspects surrendered without incident.

Investigators confiscated two assault rifles with more than a thousand rounds of ammunition and about $20,000 in cash. Later, the agents found and arrested a third man at a Palmdale Starbucks.

Jorge Ernesto Sillas-Rocha and Victor Manuel Magana Gonzalez, both in their twenties, and 34-year-old Daniel Ceballos are in custody in San Diego. State attorney general Kamala Harris said the Tijuana-based Arrellano Felix cartel hired the three men to conduct hits on people in California who owed the organization large sums of money.

In a statement, the attorney general said she wants the arrests to convey to Mexican drug traffickers that “justice will be swift and certain when you cross into California.”