Winters, Calif. is usually described as one of Yolo County’s sleepy farm towns, but last week it was the epicenter of a massive drug bust.
Officers with the Yolo Narcotic Enforcement Team made a series of arrests on Oct. 27 and 28 in connection with an extensive drug trafficking operation based out of Winters.
Task force agents from the narcotics team worked for two months with the West Sacramento Police Department and California Highway Patrol to investigate the network of drug dealers operating in the county, according to a press release.
Four men sold approximately half a pound of methamphetamine to an undercover agent in Sacramento on Oct 27. The men – Jesus Aparicio Miranda, Samuel Medina, Martin Cardenas and Jose Torres – were immediately arrested and booked at the Yolo County Jail.
The next day, task force agents and officers went to Winters and arrested eight more individuals at six houses for a variety of methamphetamine possession and sales charges.
“This particular investigation was unique in that we were able to find the source of supply, start at that level and then work our way down the chain and prosecute all of the drug sellers,” said task force commander Bill Olson.
In many cases, investigators are only able to apprehend one level of a trafficking organization, but in this case they were able to hit all levels, he said.
Lupe Escarsega, Alfredo Valencia, Joyce Creamer, David Martin, Juan Chavez and Adeline Deleon were all arrested for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
One woman, Myra Guerrero, was arrested for child endangerment in addition to other drug possession charges. Guerrero’s 3-year-old daughter was removed from her home and placed into protective custody with Child Protective Services, according to the press release.
Most of the drugs were being distributed in Winters and Yolo County, Olson said. He said there was no indication that the drugs were being manufactured locally.
“These drugs were most likely smuggled across the border,” he said.
In an interview last month, District Attorney Jeff Reisig said methamphetamine was a big problem in Yolo County. Every single homicide he has handled in the past five years has involved meth, he said.
“The surging gang violence over the last 10 years has been incredible,” he said.
All subjects were booked into the Yolo County Jail. Officials say the investigation is continuing and additional arrests are anticipated.
JEREMY OGUL can be reached at email@example.com.