Truck containing 5 guns stolen from restaurant parking lot in Whittier

WHITTIER — A pickup truck with four pistols and an AR-15-style rifle was stolen from a restaurant parking lot in Whittier Saturday night, police said.
The theft was reported about 10 p.m. outside Marie Callender’s, 9829 La Serna Drive, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said. It has been parked since 7:30 p.m. before the owner of the white, 2006 Chevrolet Silverado discovered it missing.
Inside the bed of the truck, under a tonneau cover, were three Glock pistols, one Smith & Wesson pistol, and one AR-15-style rifle, Dean said.
It was unclear whether ammunition accompanied the weapons, or why the guns were in the truck. The possession of firearms inside vehicles is permitted under state law, provided the weapons are unloaded and properly stored.

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Suspected members of Mexican drug cartel arrested by ATF

Received an interesting DOJ press release this afternoon that talks about the arrest of four local men involved in running guns and drugs for a Mexican drug cartel, right here in the San Gabriel Valley.
Here’s some of what is says:


An investigation into guns being trafficked from Arizona to California has led to the arrest of four individuals, one of whom sold several machine guns to a undercover operative and claimed to be tied to a Mexican drug cartel.

        The four defendants were arrested early this morning by special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department. During the course of the 10-month investigation, authorities purchased or seized 50 firearms, including 17 guns that were discovered during the execution of search warrants this morning.

        During the investigation, an undercover operative made a series of gun purchases from three of the defendants. The purchases included guns similar to AK-47s, Uzis and AR-15s, some of which were fully automatic weapons.

        Those arrested today are:

  • Edgardo Prado Casteneda, aka “Primo,” 26, of Azusa, who claimed to be a Southern California operative of the La Familia drug cartel based in Michoacan, Mexico;
  • Vicente Garcia Jr., aka “Chevy,” 38, of Azusa;
  • Steven Scott Blanks, 47, of Norco; and
  • Victor Velasquez, aka “Fingers,” 34, of El Monte, who is accused of delivering a quarter-pound of methamphetamine that was purchased by the undercover operative.

The four defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearances this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles.

<snip>

 The arrests were made today as Prado apparently made plans to collect a “debt” and possibly kidnap a man he said owed money to La Familia. Over the past several weeks, Prado allegedly had a series of conversations with the undercover operative about helping collect a large “debt” that a man owed to La Familia. According to the affidavit, Prado told the informant that a boss in the cartel that he called “Cuete” had sent a courier to Mexico to transport narcotics, but the courier was arrested and provided information to Mexican authorities that led to the arrest of another high-ranking cartel member in Mexico City. As a result of this, “Cuete” owed the Cartel $3 million. If the informant participated in the collection of the “debt,” Prado promised him a share of money that would be paid by the cartel.

        A criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles charges Prado with selling firearms without a license and distributing methamphetamine.

        Garcia is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

        Blanks is charged with possession of a machine gun.

        Velasquez is charged with distribution of methamphetamine.

        If convicted of the crimes alleged in the criminal complaint, the defendants would face maximum potential sentences of at least 10 years in prison.

An affidavit filed in federal court and attached here details gun deals, drug deals and talk of contract murder and kidnapping. All apparently connected to “La Familia,” a Mexican drug cartel. Here’s all the details 

cartel gun runner – affidavit.pdf

 

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