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Glendale cops bust Santa Ana dealer

Detectives follow lead to discover alleged stash of meth, cocaine and assault rifles.

December 04, 2012|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Glendale police arrested a 40-year-old man after they seized roughly $2 million in methamphetamine and cocaine from a Santa Ana home after developing information about a large-scale sales operation, officials said Monday.

Rigoberto Gil, 40, pleaded not guilty Monday to three felony counts of possessing methamphetamine and cocaine for sale, one felony count for transporting the drugs, another felony count for possessing the drugs and an AK-47 at the same time and four felony counts for possessing assault rifles — including the AK-47, two assault rifles and a Colt AR-15 rifle, according to a Los Angeles County Superior Court criminal complaint.

Gil was arrested Thursday afternoon when narcotics detectives found approximately 60 pounds of cocaine, more than 28 pounds of methamphetamine, the assault rifles, other weapons and drug-sales paraphernalia inside his home in the 900 block of Logan Street in Santa Ana, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

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He declined to reveal how Glendale police acquired the information about the alleged operation, but said in an email that they work to “dismantle organizations that inherently have an impact on our local communities.”

“Just because they aren't dealing in the city of Glendale, doesn't mean we are not continuing to go after them,” Lorenz said.

After narcotics detectives began monitoring Gil last week, they saw him take part in a possible drug deal in the 3100 block of Hillview Drive in Chino, Lorenz said.

Police eventually stopped Gil in Inglewood, where they searched his car and found methamphetamine, Lorenz said. They also reported finding $900 in cash.

Detectives obtained a warrant to search his home, where they allegedly found 28 pounds of methamphetamine inside a bedroom closet and about 68.8 pounds of cocaine hidden in two crawl spaces under the bedroom floor, Lorenz said.

Detectives discovered the loaded AK-47 in the bedroom closet and the loaded Colt AR-15 near the mattress. The other assault rifles were in the garage, police said.

Detectives plan to present the case to the U.S. Attorney's Office for federal charges, Lorenz said.

Police are still investigating the case in an effort to identify the larger operation, he said.

The large drug seizure and arrest came two days after Glendale police busted another man on suspicion of allegedly selling cocaine to a resident in front of Mark Keppel Elementary School.

Detectives had also followed that alleged dealer, Franklin Vasquez Marquez, from his home in Los Angeles home, police said.

Gil is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 20 for a preliminary hearing.

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Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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