Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, June 7, 2024

Feds Takedown Sinaloa Cartel Network in Imperial Valley, California. US Border Patrol Agent Arrested for Trafficking Meth

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

14 indictments were unsealed this week charging 47 alleged members of an Imperial Valley, California-based, Sinaloa Cartel linked fentanyl and methamphetamine distribution network with drug trafficking, firearms, and money laundering offenses. The 6-year long operation, dubbed "Operation Valley," has led to 36 arrests so far.

This investigation also resulted in the arrest of US Border Patrol Agent Alexander Grindley for trafficking methamphetamine while employed at the CBP.

According to the 14 indictments and details outlined in the search warrants, the defendants belong to various drug trafficking organizations that were part of an extensive network supplying areas in and outside of Imperial County. 52 firearms including ghost guns, and other gun parts were also seized.

Operation Valley Takedown

According to the indictments and search warrants, the defendants belonged to various trafficking organizations that were part of an extensive network supplying all of Imperial County and beyond with dangerous drugs. Crimes charged in the indictments include drug trafficking, money laundering, and gun-related offenses. Court documents indicated the defendants were operating throughout the Imperial Valley, in Brawley, El Centro, Westmoreland, Imperial, Calexico, Niland, Holtville, Calipatria, and in Mexicali, Mexico.

Including seizures this week and throughout the long-term investigation, authorities have taken off the streets more than 4 kilograms of fentanyl, which amounts to about two million potentially fatal doses; more than 324 kilograms (over 714 pounds) of methamphetamine; significant quantities of cocaine and heroin; and 52 firearms, including handguns and rifles.

“With this takedown, the Justice Department has dealt yet another blow to the Sinaloa Cartel and its associates,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “I am grateful to the more than 400 law enforcement officers whose work in this operation resulted in dozens of arrests, charges against 47 defendants, and the seizure of firearms, meth, cocaine, heroin, and two million potentially lethal doses of fentanyl. We will continue to be relentless in our fight to protect American communities from the cartels.”

“This investigation tore apart a drug trafficking network responsible for supplying dealers in communities across the region,” said U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath for the Southern District of California. “But there is still much work to be done. If you’re a parent and today’s price of fentanyl terrifies you, talk to your kids about the dangers of drug use. If you’re an addict and your dealer was arrested today, seek treatment. And if you’re a dealer but your supplier was arrested today, look out – we are coming for you next.”

“Today, the El Centro Border Patrol Sector teamed with allied law enforcement agencies to support both Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California in this operation,” said Chief Gregory Bovino of the U.S. Border Patrol’s El Centro Sector. “Our successful collaboration should be a reminder to criminal organizations in the Imperial Valley and elsewhere that justice will be served.”

“This operation shows what can be accomplished when there is collaboration between federal and local law enforcement agencies,” said Imperial County District Attorney George Marquez. “The Imperial County District Attorney’s office will continue to work together with our partners to bring to justice those that harm or are a danger to our community.”

Eduardo "Casper" Mendoza was arrested in Salem, Oregon.

The alleged ringleader of the trafficking network, Eduardo Mendoza, better known by his street name "Casper" was arrested Salem, Oregon, but resided in Niland, California.

The defendents named in the indictment
 include a wide number of residents in the Imperial Valley area as well as Arizona. 
  • Eduardo Mendoza, “Casper”
  • Maria Isabel Ferrat 
  • *Guadalupe Molina-Flores, “Lupe”
  • Stephanie Joann Hernandez, “JoJo”
  • *Emmanuel Becerra, “E-Man” 
  • Jeremy Clayton Harris, Sr. 
  • Jack Daniel Myers 
  • Cory Gershen
  • Francisco Javier Mendoza “Pancho” 
  • Carlos Cezar Mendoza 
  • Christopher John Coffman
  • Daniel Estevan Mendoza 
  • Tyran Malik Sullivan 
  • Katelyn Singh 32
  • Cynthia Diaz 
  • Robert Leroy Humble 
  • Terry Kyle Christiansen 
  • Melvin Betha
  • *Dylan Gutierrez
  • *Maricela Selk
  • Christopher Landon Bustin
  • Ernie David Davila
  • *Pedro Alberto Rioseco “Pete”
  • Jesus Antonio Escoto-Troncozo “Chocho” 
Several members were located in the Los Angeles area 
  • *Karla Franco
  • Frederick Joseph McKenna, “Downer”
  • Gabino Mora
Several defendants based in the border towns of Calexico and Mexicali were charged with the imporation, distribution and laundering the proceeds from the drug sales.
  • Mario Alberto Urena “Vaca” 34 
  • Pablo Enrique Trejo “Bolas” 
  • *Carlos Felipe Ruedas-Celaya 
  • Estevan Ramirez Gonzalez 
  • *Francisco Javier Ramirez-Garcia “Pitufo”
  • *Javier Jacquez
  • Miguel Angel Flores
  • Araceli Rangel-Torres and Carlos Valencia Mendoza are based in Mexicali, Mexico are were detained.
Several defendants listed are all based in the Brawley area, and included the name of a 53 year old US Border Patrol Agent who was arrested for trafficking meth.
  • Robert Thomas Isaac “RT”
  • *Bryan Ayala Alvarez, AKA “Pingo”
  • *Alfred Aldapa Juarez, Jr
  • Sergio Reyes-Green
  • James Wade Hanks 
  • Jesus Fernardo Romero “Chuy” (In Custody)
  • Yomayra Patricia Penuelas
  • Alexander Bennet Grindley
U.S. Border Patrol Agent Alexander Grindley

Border Patrol Agent Caught Trafficking Meth

Among the noteworthy arrests announced this past Wednesday morning was that of Brawley resident Alexander Bennet Grindley, who was arrested for alleged methamphetamine trafficking...while working as a U.S. Border Patrol agent. McGrath reported he had trafficked methamphetamine even during work hours.

A wiretap resulted in the arrest of Alexander Grindley. "As the wiretap progressed, he was obtaining, approximately every 2 weeks, regular amounts of methamphetamine in ounce quantities from the target of the investigation and we identified that he was possibly federal law enforcement," Kevin Mokhtar, an Assistant United States Attorney, said.

United States Attorney Tara McGrath says Grindley was terminated "almost immediately" and that "his conduct is in no way reflective of those who protect our border."

High School Football Player's Fentanyl Overdose

Since the October 2019 death of 15-year-old Central Union High School football player Josue M. Garcia Moreno, investigations into the local drug trafficking rings, especially regarding fentanyl intensified. “Since that high school student’s death, our office has not only convicted that dealer, and many more like him, but we have continued to track down fentanyl distributors. We have meticulously dismantled drug networks, and disrupted supply chains. Today’s coordinated effort is yet another example of what federal and local law enforcement, and the Department of Justice are doing to tackle the illicit drug trade, and more specifically the fentanyl crisis.”

Lorenzo Anthony Garcia,was the dealer of the fatal fentanyl dose, he pleaded guilty to distributing the fentanyl that resulted in Josue's overdose death. he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in 2022. At the time, more than 60% of the nation’s fentanyl border seizures by U.S. Customs and Border Protection occur in San Diego and Imperial counties in California.

A routine traffic stop in 2021 by the Brawley Police Department ultimately led to the wider dismantling of this distribution network. “It takes an officer paying attention and getting that information and moving it forward to where it needs to go,” Brawley Police Chief Jimmy Duran said.

Ghost Gun Cache

According to court records, on June 30, 2021, agents seized 2 pounds of methamphetamine and a cache of ghost guns and ammunition, including:
  • 15 Lower Receivers
  • 3 Upper Receivers
  • 18 Magazines, Multiple Barrels, Stocks
  • 9mm and .223 Red Army (Russian) ammunition
None of the firearms or firearm parts had any identifying serial numbers or markings. They were all ghost guns. Wiretap intercepts showed that defendant Cory Gershen supplied other members of the organization with ghost guns in exchange for methamphetamine. The guns would have been destined to be smuggled into Mexico to supply the Sinaloa Cartel.

On June 30, 2021, agents seized additional ghost guns, ammunition, and methamphetamine from another member of the same drug trafficking organization. Specifically, agents seized two AR-style ghost guns and a Colt .380 semiautomatic handgun, and additional Russian rifle ammunition from defendant Guadalupe Molina-Flores, one of the alleged members of the trafficking organization. According to a search warrant, after seizing the firearms, agents searched Molina-Flores’ residence and found 309.4 grams (0.68 pounds) of methamphetamine.

Fentanyl Prices Plummeted by 70%

Imperial County experienced 24 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2022, the most recent full year of data available from the California Department of Public Health. The annual mortality rate for 2022 was 13.57 deaths per 100,000 residents, an increase of 41% over 2021.

The investigation revealed that the price per fentanyl pill has plummeted by over 70% in less than a year. For example, in June 2021, targets of the investigation were obtaining fentanyl pills in Imperial Valley at approximately $1.65 to $1.75 per pill.

By December 2021, the prices being discussed had dropped to approximately $1.25 per pill.

By May, 2022, "an undercover agent in this investigation was able to buy approximately 8,000 fentanyl pills from one of these defendants for just $0.45 per pill," says McGrath.

"The drop in price reflected the increased supply and availability of fentanyl being smuggled into the United States and the close ties between targets of this investigation and their Sinaloa Cartel supplier of fentanyl pills."


  1. They need to make an example of the border agent and give him a lot of time in jail.

    1. Don't worry - he's toast.

    2. The heat was on the border agent, his indictment was handed from Imperial Valley so he believed it was Cheyo. The Border Patrol agent told his contacts and they took care of it, wether Chapitos,MZ,CJNG the agent was most likely helping all. It could've been anybody honestly, sucks to be in organized crime.

    3. But, but... huh? I thought cartels couldn't operate in the US because superheroes would stop it.

    4. Nooooo, not Sergio Reyes-Green!!!

    5. At 1:50. Have you moved out of your mom’s basement yet???

    6. 6:57
      No. I haven't.

  2. You can see that they haven't slowed much with the fent

    unless they dropped the numbers to offload more product quicker and get it out when they were sitting on extras.

    in this case, the amounts are so small, it was mostly taken from the retail crews in those small towns. this was too crack down and get some guys off the street, but as far as "major cartel" disruption, it's not much. The guys in the last back SD indictments were doing 80 pounds a week minimum.

  3. If the Border patrol agent was only getting ounce quantity then he was a user not a trafficker. Not sure if they can make that stick. Probably got him to put pressure on the real traffickers in form of cooperation or testimony.

  4. Fentanyl pushers get dealt with. Now let the snitching begin….

  5. What flea market in Imperial Valley did Chino Alexander Bennet Grindley get his papers at? Esos gooks communistas queren tumbar raza nomas para tumbar gringos. Y los gringos communistas que andan con ellos horrita vajaron el Imperial. Jo y mi jente por esta area no vamos andar de esclavos por esta hente. Jalense or get forgot about.

  6. It's not just that agent ,,,, shhhhh I'm hungry going to heat up mi maruchan

  7. Casper the friendly isolated inmate with nothing but grueling day in day out
    lonely as fuck
    tormentingly long time to serve in a prison cell
    Hope it was worth it you two bit spick dipshit

    1. Yo….never aight to spit that racist bs

    2. Pipe down 6:18
      Slap the taste out your mouth

  8. Finally a corrupt border fed without 2 last names

  9. Damn homie!
    just work in a tire shop or warehouse and have a good long life.
    Stupid idiot.
    Not worth trying to be Scarface
    Didn’t you watch the end of the movie?
    It’s like people who speed in traffic and only end up at the red light anyway!!!
    Well, now the red light is prison you fucking moron.

  10. You know how they say crime doesn’t pay?
    Let’s take the total amount he made slanging dope,
    and since he’ll be in prison for 20-30 years and making NO MORE money,
    let’s divide the time he’s serving by the amount he made being a criminal to come up with an hourly rate:
    Literally less than Zero
    He’s actually paying with his life…
    His life is over but his existence is being funded by tax payer dollars.
    Damn fool.
    Hope it was worth it with your stupid ass scarf

  11. American prisons don’t play
    This dude is fiiiiiinished

  12. Oh he’ll be made an example of in prison
    Don’t worry

  13. Thanks for sending us your best and brightest Mexico!
    No wonder you are such talents!
    You not only do Sheetrock and poor construction
    you also poison our communities!

    1. Only because you want to pay for it.

    2. Your brain is poisoned

    3. They’re filling demand that’s all. Someone else would do it if it wasn’t Mexicans. Something is wrong in the U.S if it has so many broken drug users. SMH what a shame

    4. Seguramente los obligan a que se pongan locos,el que es loco es loco y que acepte las consecuencias de sus actos y ya

    5. We do the jobs you don't want to do gringo I'm in 3 unions do you do physical work or do you push keys as in the keyboard

    6. Lol Mr Trump wannabe, go back to sleep vampire.

    7. Shame on you. Do you think that is Americas best and brightest on the North side of the border buying this shit or supplying arms and munitions to the cartels? Get off of your ass and go visit the real Mexico, meet the people and learn about your neighbors and stop spewing this racial nonsense. Takes two to tango amigo.

    8. Y’all know he’s right:
      Mexicans were born to be laborers and Nannie’s.
      Any occupation outside of that is an anomaly for short little Indian savages
      Most successful Mexicans are more Spanish than indigenous

    9. 11:17
      And you were born to spell 'nannies' incorrectly 😹

    10. @12:38 AM
      Yup, the Mexicans are stuffing the pills, drugs into junkies, while pointing a gun at them!
      Better look hard into the mirror, and especially into the system that makes so many people homeless, divorced, drug addicted, fat as fuck, without friends, working 10+ hours per day just to sustain oneself !!!
      Before Mexicans there were Colombians, Cubans, Italians, Chinese bringing dope, even Canadians brought weed...
      If you look deep and hard enough, and have some power of deduction, you'll see that blaming others for your problems isn't the way to solve your problems.
      But that Public Schooling System isn't terrible by chance, it's purposefully put in place, way easier to manipulate uneducated and dumb folks.

    11. 11:17

      I feel sorry for your family.

    12. What's with all this bigotry on this post? Sounds like a bunch of white trash with stifled ideas from the past and a penchant for Insecure masculinity. Mexican Americans/ Mexican immigrants have also been governors, currently senators, and representatives of the House. There are business owners and restaurateurs that you likely will eat at because your woman likes it. California is now more Hispanic American. A lot of law is hispanic. Those groceries of fruits and veggies you buy? They most likely come from Mexico from business owners much more wealthier than you. Welcome to the world. Hispanics are now the second biggest population in America.

    13. @02:07 You forgot about the Mossad selling Israeli manufactured MDMA tablets in the USA in the late 90s and Early 2000s, until they got busted.

      Also, you forgot about Iran selling heroin in the USA in exchange for promising not to nuke us according to the JCPA joint comprehensive plan of action. ... Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered the Obama administration to "look the other way" to permit over $300 million USD per month of drug trafficking sales by the IRG and Hamas and Hezbollah.

    14. 11:27 Pinche Español racista as de ser. Putos no ven mas que el color de la piel y juzgan a Mexicanos.
      En EU donde si le dan oportunidad a Mexicanos el gobierno los Mexicanos somos polecias, doctors, alcaldes y hasta gobernadorres de estado.
      Pinche imperio Español jamas le hubiera dado estas oportunidad a Mexicanos color oscuro por racistas que son.
      Chinguen a su madre putos!

    15. @4:17 PM
      I didn't even know about those!
      But I have forgotten about how poppy fields in Afghanistan were at their best/largest when certain military was on the ground there, and the biggest growers were the allies of the USA once the Taliban started taking over.
      Now the production of opium is at it's lowest, but have no fear - fentanyl is here!!!
      And blaming China for it is just so American, just like the original poster blamed the Mexicans.
      Watching TV is detrimental to one's mental health, and IQ.

    16. 12:38 am...please research what type of ppl Christopher Columbus brought over here with him before you open your thin lips...They weren't the best Italy/Spain had to offer.

    17. 2:55...Dude is a loner. No family,friends or girlfriend. I feel sorry for him!

  14. Mexico will be punished
    Shame on you Mexico
    Letting your children and women be murdered
    You will pay

    1. Same goes to you Americans for making innocent kids and woman die to your guns

    2. LoL, buddy google how many civilian casualties there were in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Korea etc!
      It would take more than 50 years of fentanyl "epidemic" to catch up to those casualties, dead only because the MIC needed more money...

    3. lol buddy
      Not the same
      Not at all
      Take another bong hit you dime store detective

    4. Stfu you hippy
      Are you drunk?
      You sound like such a fool

    5. Pay? What are they going to pay? What's worst than having your women and children murdered? Can it get any worst? Shut up!

  15. Being from Mexico isn’t a feeling of pride anymore
    I know a lot of guys I work with who lie and say they’re from neighboring countries just because nowadays when you say you’re from mexico
    people are like :
    “ gross”

  16. The booty house they go!

  17. parece el chupa cabras este compa,no le deseo el mal pero no pienso que le vaya muy bien adentro,cuando se encuentre,con la raza pesada......................

  18. at,12; te vaya a dar un ataque al corazon,chaparrilla traicionera,toxica......ok...

  19. This is my community, glad to see the trash being removed, human and narcotic. This shit has destroyed the border town vibe and lifestyle that I’ve enjoyed for fifty plus years since first landing in El Paso as a 17 year old. Viva Mexico, Viva USA.

  20. open a private browser session to bypass paywall

  21. Lmfao people now a days don’t have a brain, I’m not condoning none of this but how tf are u a whole border patrol agent but your burning yourself for some grams/ounces , out of all things you could of done you chose that 🤣

  22. 12.38 loquita rencorosa......

  23. History repeats its self Mexico sends its best to spread poison and Ellis island years ago brought candidates to join the MOB to learn to kill and spread heroin and extort and kill like these guys.

  24. Doesn't the government do background checks on candidates? At least they did.this guy is a perfect candidate for the cartels Not CBP.

    1. Mijo they do and they passed everything, it is until they want to be a broken arrow, and do dark side stuff, until they are caught.

    2. Ctfu @ background checks for candidates..If you follow the news you will see a guy who is a Convicted Felon running for President of the USA..Why bother checking anyone else at this point.

  25. Casper, poncho, Jo Jo:
    Born to be losers with those nicknames.
    This is what happens when day laborers go rogue!😝
    Stick to the fields miho

  26. What is sinaloa cartel about this?

  27. Replies
    1. 11:39
      Cute response, but cut the kid some slack.
      Probably a native spanish speaker grappling with english.
      We KNOW what he's trying to say, even though he should have typed 'where is' en vez de 'what'
      I would never dare to try to post in a second language, seems too difficult, so good for him for giving it the old college try.
      If 8:19 is in fact a native gringo-talker, forget the typing lessons, he's either loaded to the gills, or just plain braindead.
      We're all in this thing together, all tongues of Babel welcomed, except maybe The Korean Kid who was posting asian language characters awhile back that spelled out some bad news that was overlooked for awhile, and not deleted earlier because nobody could figure out what the fuck it all meant, jaja.

  28. Keep hitting them. The only people unhappy about this are the ADDICTS and the DOPE PUSHERS and maybe a couple lawyers❗


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