Operation Rosebud Sets its Sights on Southern California Mexican Drug Cartels

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and a number of state and local law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Pasadena Police Department, recently saw a successful end to an 18-month investigation that resulted in the indictment of 24 individuals linked to a Pasadena gang.

The accused gang members are linked to the Sinaloa cartel, thereby highlighting the growing presence of Mexican cartels throughout Southern California. The gang members are charged with working with the Sinaloa cartel to sell a number of drugs from Mexico, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

The Success of Operation Rosebud

The DEA-led investigation, named Operation Rosebud, targeted members of a gang called Varrio Pasadena Rifa, a gang known to sell drugs in Pasadena, as well as in Kern County and the Antelope Valley. The investigation led to the seizure of more than $2.5 million in narcotics, which were retrieved during surveillance operations and eavesdropping during coded conversation conducted by the gang.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, whose office was part of the investigation’s federal task force, said that there is a “Sinaloa infusion into Southern California” and that the Sinaloa cartel has become a major supplier of drugs in Southern California.

Narcotics Deliveries at Pasadena Locations

It is believed that the Sinaloa cartel had a member within the gang who delivered drugs to the gang members. During the course of the investigation, more than 60 pounds of narcotics were delivered to various Pasadena locations, including a supermarket parking garage, a car wash, and even a private home.

The individuals named in the indictment are facing a variety of charges related to drug conspiracy, all of which could result in more than decade in federal prison.