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27 charged with drug smuggling in Operation Burrito Grande and Operation Imperial Strikes Back

June 10, 2010 |  1:04 pm

Twenty-seven persons have been indicted in alleged drug smuggling rings in Imperial County tied to Mexican drug cartels, federal prosecutors announced today.

The indictments are the result of two undercover investigations: Operation Burrito Grande and Operation Imperial Strikes Back. Among the charges are money-laundering and conspiracy to smuggle and distribute methamphetamine.

The smugglers allegedly brought drugs through the Mexicali Valley into Imperial County at Calexico for shipment to the illicit drug markets in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties. Some $1.9 million in cash was seized, officials said.

Of the 27, 17 are in custody, officials said.

-- Tony Perry, in San Diego