This morning, the Butte County Interagency Narcotics Task Force in tandem with the DEA took down a local Methamphetamine ring in the county as a result of a 10 month long investigation.
Those arrested today were Federico Sandoval Aguilar and Alejandro Lopez-Corona of Biggs, Manuel Garcia Navarro, Rafael Morfin-Medina, Rickey Lee Xiong, Sou Xiong, Cindy Lee Hunter, all of Oroville. The arresting officers also seized approximately ten pounds of methamphetamine, five firearms including one stolen weapon, and more than $70,000 of drug proceeds as a result of Operation “Crystal Ball”.
The case began with information developed by BINTF who asked the Sacramento office of the Drug Enforcement Administration to join the investigation. The complaint filed by the DEA alleges Federico Aguilar was the head of an organization distributing methamphetamine in Butte County and within the Eastern District of California. Information regarding this investigation was gathered they confidential sources, surveillance, drug purchases made by undercover officers, and court authorized wiretaps of Aguliar and his associates.
According to the task force, couriers transported pound quantities of methamphetamine from Mexico to Butte County and at the direction of Aguilar. Members of the organization then sold these drugs to local associates for further distribution and sale.
Five defendants, Guillermo Ventura-Lopez, David Milton Eleazar, Neng Chue Xiong, Pao Thao, and Jaime Dominguez, also targets of the operation, were not located and are considered fugitives.