Breaking News

Wyoming car crash led federal agents to massive Santa Clara methamphetamine storage facility

SAN JOSE — A solo-car accident 1,100 miles from the Bay Area was the initial domino to drop in an investigation that led federal brokers to a Santa Clara warehouse believed to be an “active methamphetamine conversion site,” court data show.

On Aug. 3, the Drug Enforcement Administration raided a warehouse on the 600 block of Martin Avenue in Santa Clara, wherever they identified “processed and unprocessed” methamphetamine as perfectly as the makings of a laboratory made to transform it from liquid to crystal type, according to just lately unsealed courtroom paperwork. So much, one man or woman — Marco Antonio Manriquez — has been charged in link with the investigation, but several additional suspects have been discovered in the court docket filings.

The investigation commenced July 1, in Rawlins, Wyoming, where a motor vehicle containing 40 kilos of methamphetamine crashed on Interstate 80, according to the criminal grievance. A Rawlins officer responded to the collision and informed the car’s two occupants, both of those Bay Space people, he was likely to search the motor vehicle, when just one admitted a large volume of medicines was concealed inside.

Just one of the vehicle’s occupants in the end became a confidential resource whose identify has been remaining out of general public courtroom filings. Authorities say the informant is of “unknown reliability” but that much of the data he or she offered was verified in the ensuing investigation.

The informant advised authorities that the medicines experienced been picked up from the Martin Avenue warehouse, which was staffed with an in-property “cook” in charge of crystalizing shipments of methamphetamine that had been smuggled to the area, then repackaging them for distribution all through California and the United States. The informant recognized the head of the drug ring by name, and also alleged that Manriquez performed a role in distributing medications, in accordance to the grievance.

The DEA conducted surveillance at the warehouse on Aug. 2, and viewed the suspected chief of the drug ring and Manriquez depart the place with a “white bag with honey bee emblems” and drive in a crimson Nissan Altima to Milpitas, where by they handed the bag to the driver of a Chevrolet Equinox. From there, agents tipped off the California Highway Patrol, which pulled more than the Equinox in Benicia and identified 24 pounds of methamphetamine within the bag, according to the complaint.