Santa Monica police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have arrested a man and a woman who allegedly ran a prolific heroin-selling operation in the local area.
Maria Lucia Fuentes and Jose Giovanni Franco were arrested by Santa Monica police and ICE agents as they sat inside a car parked near a drug store in Inglewood at about noon Wednesday, March 25th, Santa Monica police Sgt. Robert Almada said. The suspects were allegedly waiting to complete a large heroin sale, Almada said.
After the arrest, narcotics investigators served a search warrant at the suspectsí Inglewood residence, where additional heroin was seized, Almada said. During the operation, officers and ICE agents seized a total of over two pounds of black tar heroin, worth more than $25,000, he said.
Police allege that Fuentes and Franco ran a drug selling operation throughout Santa Monica, Venice and Culver City that provided a delivery service to customers. Fuentes, who was known as ìMamaî to her customers, often wore brightly colored medical scrubs while she allegedly sold heroin in amounts that ranged from a few grams up to a few pounds, Almada said.
Fuentes and Franco have been transferred into federal custody and were arraigned March 26th on narcotics trafficking charges, he said.