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Traffic stop leads to big drug operation

A traffic stop led to an arrest of six people, the recovery of nearly 500 pounds of methamphetamine and the destruction of a drug lab in Shafter last Thursday.

California Highway Patrol officers initiated a traffic stop on Wible Road in Bakersfield. The officers and a K9 Bart discovered about 97 pounds of methamphetamine inside the trunk of a Honda Accord being driven by Luis Cecena, 32, of Mexico City. This discovery led officers to conduct a search warrant at a suspect's home in Shafter. At a property in the 1700 block of Fresno Avenue, officers discovered a lab on the property that was suspected of manufacturing meth.

The Kern County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that this was a result of a lengthy investigation by a multiagency task force including the Kern County Rural Crimes Unit, Kern County High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force Team and the California Highway Patrol. It is not clear what the cause behind the traffic stop was at the time.

At the residence, officers confiscated about 360 pounds of methamphetamine, 100 gallons of liquid meth, several weapons and a substantial amount of cash.

Those taken into custody were Ronaldo Cain, 50, of Bakersfield; Luis Moreno-Andrade, 18, of Mexico City, Jose Aguirre-Chaidez, 22, of Sinaloa, Mexico, Felipe Angulo-Renteria, 36, of Mexico City, and Jose Violante-Medina, 44, of Mexico City.

Shafter Police Department's Assistant Chief Diana Burnett said that the arrest was a surprise to the department. "We didn't know anything about the situation until after the fact. Our Code Compliance officer was called out to assess the property and the integrity of the structure, which was deemed unsafe, and I believe Animal Control was called out because of some fighting roosters."

All of the suspects were booked into the Kern County Central Receiving Facility and are awaiting arraignment. The Sheriff's Office encourages anyone with information to call them at 661-861-3110.


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