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S.C. taco trucks trafficked drugs for cartels, authorities say

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 11:55 AM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 12:10 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. - South Carolina authorities say more than Mexican food was available at a South Carolina restaurant and its taco trucks.

Authorities allege Los Primos in Greenville and its food trucks were regional hubs for a multistate drug trafficking operation under the control of a well-known and violent drug cartel.

Now more than three-dozen people face charges after being indicted by the state grand jury, according to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

“It’s a major win overall in taking off some major people who have significant transnational ties to illicit organizations,” said Mike Prado of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Investigators seized 11 kilograms of meth, 584 grams of cocaine, over 20 firearms and $63,000 in cash during the investigation. They believe more than 1,000 kilograms of meth, 100 kilograms of cocaine and 2 kilograms of heroin were trafficked through South Carolina by the operation.

The information gathered in the investigation led Georgia and federal authorities to seize more drugs from apartments and stash houses in Atlanta. The bust there led to approximately 200 kilos of meth, 3.5 kilos of cocaine, 3.2 kilos of heroin, 5 ounces of cocaine mixed with fentanyl, 183 pounds of marijuana and 900 Xanax pills.

Taco truck outside Los Primos, a Greenville restaurant the Attorney General says was...
Taco truck outside Los Primos, a Greenville restaurant the Attorney General says was trafficking drugs for Mexican cartels.(FOX Carolina News)

Overall, South Carolina law enforcement officials allege the operation is responsible for trafficking nearly $90 million dollars worth of meth, cocaine, and heroin throughout South Carolina.

“The restaurant that was the regional hub for all this drug trafficking that was going on was right up the street from an elementary school where children are going,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson.

A state grand jury issued 124 charges against defendants who include Esteban A. Deleon-Avilia, James Andrew Addy, Jamie Gonzalez-blanca, Arianna Green del Bois, Michael Medina Gomez, Ruben Medina Gomez, Bartolo Zavala Gonzalez, Gustavo Avalos Gonzales, Isidro Zavala Gonzalez, Fabian Zavala Hernandez, Reyes Sanchez-hernandez, Amanda Lynn Howard, Jonathan David Looney, Romeo Escalante Lopez, Juan Carlos Becerra-manjierrez, Damien Rogelio Rivera Duran Martine, Joseph Matthew Mcclure, John Guadalupe Medellin, Anastasia Reynoso, Bernice June Robertson, Edvardo Royin, Carlos Gabriel Torres Santiago, Alejandro Lagunas-Soto, Maria L. Soto, Alberto Trejo, Jesus Tirador Jr., Timothy Alvin Turner, Pedro Cuevas Villanueva, Kirsten Rosalynne Williams and several people known only by their nicknames.

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