San Diego Trucking Company Center of Drug Bust Using Fire Extinguishers

A two-year investigation uncovers a drug smuggling operation using fire extinguishers to transport narcotics across the border.

San Diego Trucking Company Center of Drug Bust Using Fire Extinguishers
Image Source: FBI Los Angeles/X

A drug trafficking ring that allegedly packed fentanyl and other drugs into fire extinguishers concealed in scrap metal loads has been put to a stop. This elaborate scheme was brought to light after a two-year investigation dubbed Operation "Smoke Jumpers."

How it Worked:

Carin Trucking, a San Diego-based trucking company, has been spotlighted at the center of this alleged cross-border drug smuggling operation.

The ring consisted of six semi-trucks that regularly crossed the border, making deliveries to the Los Angeles area.

The affidavit supporting the search warrant details a meticulous process. Truck drivers would cross the US-Mexico border, their vehicles filled with what appeared to be scrap metal. Concealed within this cargo were the fire extinguishers filled with drugs. Once safely across, these trucks would journey to Los Angeles. Here, couriers awaited to collect the disguised extinguishers, now ready for further distribution within the vast urban area.

Big Haul: Thirteen seizures totaling 680,992 fentanyl pills, 3 kilograms of fentanyl powder, 17 kilograms of heroin, and 10,418 pills containing methamphetamine.

Arrests: 9 have been caught, one was already in custody, and seven are on the run in Mexico.

"Seven fugitives charged in #OperationSmokeJumpers are fugitives..." Image Source. FBI Lost Angeles/X
"The indictment alleges two narcotics conspiracies and 12 drug possession offenses, each of which carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a potential life sentence. Count 15, which alleges a money laundering conspiracy, carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison."

Source: United States Attorney's Office Central District of California

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