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Oakland Federal Court charges 16 people of narcotic trafficking
Southern California is home to millions of migrant populations from different parts of the United States as well as the world. Its proximity to the Mexican borders makes it a hotspot for drug cartels and other narcotic trafficking rings to operate with ease. In August this year, federal prosecutors arrested 16 people for the suspicion of operating a drug cartel in San Francisco, the East Bay and the Central Valley. Operating in the Northern and Eastern districts of California, the gang maintained marijuana grow houses in San Francisco, Oakland, Antioch, Discovery Bay, Tracy and Delano, according to the court.
Led by wheelchair bound Oscar Vladimir Escalante, nicknamed “Cuddy” and “Hoggy,” the group was allegedly involved in distributing illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, the prescription drug alprazolam and marijuana. Escalante was accused of managing the entire operations, suppliers, finances; overseeing the procurement of firearms intended for complete automation; supervising several pot grow houses in the Bay Area. He was also accused of running a storefront to launder drug money, said the law enforcement affidavit filed in court.
The other 16 co-conspirators involved in the ring included street-level dealers and drug distributors, drop-off location supervisors, grow house operators, drug money launderers and collectors, and an armorer, said the police.
The arrests were a result of a thorough investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the San Roman Police Department, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and the Oakland Police Department.
California, a hotspot for drug abuse and addiction
Drug addiction doesn’t distinguish between age, sex, ethnicity, social standing, or economic status. In California, substance abuse-related problems are no longer an urban peril that claimed victims from lower-class non-white communities, instead, the face of drug addiction is now the suburban young and white American.
The proximity of the state to the Mexican borders makes it a hotspot for drug cartels and other narcotic trafficking rings to operate with ease. Besides, the extensive multimode interstate transportation network makes it the ideal distribution point for drugs to other parts of the country. However, there is a growing nationwide awareness on the life-threatening epidemic that is plaguing not only the state, but also the entire country.
Leading a drug-free life
Law enforcement authorities are making consistent efforts in taking a comprehensive approach to tackle the drug trafficking problem, and design measures to eradicate the menace from every nook and corner of the country.
Nevertheless, treatment of any addiction depends on an individual’s willingness to recover and lead a normal life. With abuse and dependence becoming more prevalent than ever before, behavioral therapies can go a long way helping people to give up addiction and walk toward sobriety.
If you or your loved one is addicted to heroin, cocaine or any other drugs, seek treatment immediately. The San Francisco Drug Treatment Rehab Center can help you get the best addiction treatment programs and embrace sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 415-366-6922 or chat online for more information on different treatment options.