Crime

4 men arrested in North County drug bust; 2 others at large

Authorities seized cocaine and methamphetamine with a street value of more than $80,000 during searches of locations in Paso Robles and rural Atascadero on Tuesday. The approximate total weight of the seized methamphetamine shown above is 2 1/4 pounds, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Authorities seized cocaine and methamphetamine with a street value of more than $80,000 during searches of locations in Paso Robles and rural Atascadero on Tuesday. The approximate total weight of the seized methamphetamine shown above is 2 1/4 pounds, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Several San Luis Obispo County men with connections to a Mexican drug cartel were arrested Tuesday by the FBI as part of an ongoing investigation into a drug-distribution ring with links to Southern California, according to the FBI and local officials.

The four Mexican citizens arrested in a multi-agency sweep are suspected of distributing narcotics in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties, according to the FBI.

Two suspects escaped, officials said.

The group had direct ties to the Sinaloa cartel, based in the western Mexican state of Sinaloa, through which they received shipments from Mexico via contacts in Los Angeles, an FBI spokeswoman said.

Officials seized cocaine and methamphetamine with an estimated street value of more than $80,000, along with a stolen pistol, authorities said.

The following men were arrested and face charges in federal court in Los Angeles, according to a news release from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office: Sixto Alejandro Valdez-Beltran, 44, of Paso Robles; Jesus Telesoforo Torres-Rodriguez, 22, of Paso Robles; Juan Manual Torres-Flores, 26, of Paso Robles; and Samuel Cerna, 25, of Paso Robles.

Two more men — Edgar Paul Alvarez-Rendon, 24, of Paso Robles and Jesus Alejandro Alcala-Martinez, 24, of Atascadero — escaped before search warrants were served, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The FBI’s Safe Street Task Force out of Santa Maria worked with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit and Gang Task Force and the California Highway Patrol.

The investigation is ongoing.

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