H-SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

Dec 4, 2013 8:24 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Drug ring taken down in San Luis Obispo County

More than $100,000 worth of drugs and guns were seized Wednesday as part of a massive bust on the Central Coast. Investigators say the alleged drug runners are tied to a Mexican drug cartel. While they are not saying which cartel, Homeland Security says the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most powerful and dangerous cartels in Mexico, is known to traffic drugs on the Central Coast. It was a wakeup call no one expected. Flash bang grenades rang out around 6:00 a.m. Wednesday as SWAT teams moved in on a home in Pismo Beach. "There was a loud explosion. It sounded like a big bang, like heavy duty fireworks," said Al Williams, who lives near a home raided Wednesday. Little did these neighbors know, narcotics detectives were making one of 13 simultaneous busts across the Central Coast. "Scared the heck out of us to be honest with you," said Williams. Within two hours, 15 people were put into squad cars. "We have seized approximately two and a quarter pounds of heroin, one ounce of meth with a street value of over $100,000," said San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson. Detectives also took in more than 50 guns, 40 at one home, including high-powered rifles, and highly identifiable guns like a gold-plated pistol. Sheriff Parkinson says the people arrested are part of a large drug ring connected to Mexican cartels. He says these types of operations have inherent risks, making the surprise busts crucial. "We were aware of the fact that many of them had handguns available and one particular case I can point to had it next to them in bed," said Sheriff Parkinson. While this is a significant blow to the supply of heroin on the Central Coast, officials say it's far from over. "Based on what we've been seeing particularly over the last few years with the increase in heroin use, it's probably a multi-headed snake," said Sheriff Parkinson. Law enforcement officials plan to check serial numbers on the weapons seized Wednesday in order to possibly connect them to prior cases. Sheriff's officials say Wednesday's bust was part of a five-month long investigation.

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