A three-week long investigation by the Fullerton Police Narcotics Unit culminated with the arrest of three suspects and the seizure of 26 pound of crystal methamphetamine, 2.6 pounds of heroin and more than $17,200 in cash.
The investigation involved weeks of surveillance and seizures of narcotics and cash at four storage units in Anaheim.
The narcotics have a street value of more than $566,000, said Det. Matt Martinez, the lead investigator on the case.
“This is definitely one of the bigger seizures we’ve had in Fullerton,” said Sgt. Tony Diaz, Narcotics Unit supervisor. “What we realize is that drugs in Orange County are as prevalent as anyplace else.”
Detectives arrested Manuel Jesus Soto, 22, of Anaheim – the key suspect in the investigation – on suspicion of possession for sale of a controlled substance, transportation for sales of narcotics, possession for sale of amphetamines and transportation of sales of narcotics.
Soto’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 3.
“We knew he was dealing large quantities of narcotics,” Martinez said. “We just didn’t know how much.”
During the investigation, which was conducted in July and August, detectives observed Soto going to several different storage units and making drug transactions in public parking lots.
On Aug. 5, detectives watched Soto give a blue bag to two men in the parking lot of an Anaheim shopping center.
As the two men drove off in a Toyota Camry, detectives followed a car and had K9 Officer Flynn in a marked patrol car conduct a car stop on the Camry.
The K9 sniffed out 1.5 pounds of crystal meth that was wrapped in a bag and hidden under the car’s engine hood.
Detectives arrested Ramon Soto and Fernando Miranda on transportation and possession of a controlled substance for sale.
On Aug. 9, narcotics detectives, assisted by the directed enforcement team, followed Manuel Soto from his home to one of his storage units.
Once there, the detectives opted to position their vehicles to block Soto in the storage facility.
Soto, who was in possession of heroin, was arrested. He gave detectives permission to search all his storage units, where narcotics, cash and a scale were found.
Detectives involved in the investigation along with Martinez and Diaz were P. Thayer, M. Pulido, M. Greene, D. Blume and A. Valdiserri.
“It was a complete team effort,” Martinez said of the successful investigation. “Everyone just did their job by being in the right place at the right time.”