LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Federal authorities today arrested two Los Angeles residents named in a grand jury indictment alleging their involvement in a family-run drug ring that trafficked in pound quantities of cocaine, as well as fentanyl pills.
With one of the named defendants already in federal custody, authorities are continuing to search for the three remaining defendants, including the mother who allegedly oversaw the operation, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
The indictment charges six defendants:
• Maria Trinidad Gutierrez “Tia” Mendoza, 54, of Downey, the alleged leader of the narcotics ring, who allegedly possessed about 9.5 pounds of cocaine a year ago;
• Maria’s son, Jose Ceja “Feo” Gutierrez, 32, of South Gate, who is currently in federal prison on unrelated charges;
• Maria’s daughter, Karina Ceja Gutierrez, 35, of Los Angeles, who allegedly helped her mother obtain cocaine and was arrested Tuesday;
• Jose’s girlfriend, Esmerelda “Barbara Moran” Rodriguez, 29, of Huntington Park, who allegedly helped obtain fentanyl pills;
• Primitivo Cisneros “Primo” Cruz, 70, of Los Angeles, an alleged source of narcotics for the drug ring, who allegedly was found with a 2.2 pounds of cocaine in May 2019 and was arrested Tuesday; and
• Bridgett “Sharol” Coates, 55, of Lawndale, an alleged customer of the organization.