Is Santa Ana Orange County’s Heroin Headquarters?

I got a tip today about an ICE bust of an auto body shop in Santa Ana. But when I searched for this on the Internet it turned out to be an even bigger deal. Apparently this shop was part of a heroin smuggling ring – and it sits right in the Renaissance Plan area. What a revolting development! It might be time for a new slogan for Santa Ana – “Orange County’s Heroin Headquarters!”

Here are excerpts from an article by the O.C. Register:

Police and immigration agents arrested 23 people and seized 1.5 kilograms of heroin during a series of raids Wednesday that targeted a suspected international drug ring.

Investigators believe the organization smuggled brown heroin from Mexico, stored it at locations throughout Orange County, and distributed it across the state. They identified Francisco Javier Valencia-Contreras, the owner of Rollin Auto Collision in Santa Ana, as the suspected ringleader.

The raids Wednesday targeted nine homes in Santa Ana and one in Garden Grove, as well as Rollin Auto Collision. Investigators seized 1.5 kilos of heroin worth about $30,000 on the streets, $25,000 in cash and several weapons, including a shotgun, according to a joint statement issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Santa Ana Police Department.

Cpl. Jose Gonzalez of the Santa Ana Police Department said police “are still looking for some other outstanding suspects,” but would not give further details or say how many.

Twenty of the 23 people arrested during the raids Wednesday were from Santa Ana. The others were from Garden Grove, San Clemente and Huntington Beach. They were all charged with conspiracy to possess heroin for distribution and sale.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.