Prosecutors in Silicon Valley say authorities have arrested 18 people and seized methamphetamine, cocaine and drug labs as part of an investigation into a major drug distribution ring with ties to a Mexican cartel.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office announced the arrests and seizures on Thursday. Prosecutors say the investigation was conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and began with the arrest of a low-level drug dealer in 2012.
They say it led to a drug lab in Elk Grove that was manufacturing millions of dollars of methamphetamine each month and also turned up marijuana, weapons and laundered cash.
Among those arrested was Esdras Avila Carrillo, of San Jose, who prosecutors say is believed to be a high-ranking member of the Mexican drug cartel connected to the operation. They did not name the cartel.