West Coast drug ring busted in 4-year investigation 

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 A four-year investigation by federal agencies and the San Francisco and Oakland police departments resulted in the dismantling of a high-level West Coast drug trafficking ring, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag announced Thursday. A federal grand jury in San Francisco last week indicted 20 defendants -- from San Francisco, Hayward, Oakland, San Mateo, Vallejo, San Jose and Seattle, among other locales -- for drug-related charges.

The indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday, alleges that the defendants engaged in long-term narcotics conspiracy and that 15 of the defendants distributed illegal narcotics or possessed such narcotics with the intent to distribute them.

Eight of those defendants were arrested and arraigned in federal court Wednesday: Antonio Jose Diaz-Rivera, of San Francisco; Jose Evaristo-Rauda, of San Francisco; Fatima Carolina Segovia, of Hayward; Jose Tobar-Galdamez, of Hayward; Fortunato Rodelo-Lara, of San Mateo; Marcos Antonio Flores, of Vallejo; Jesus Almendares-Vasquez, of San Jose; and Javier Antonio Cabrera-Arteaga, of Seattle.

All of those arrested Wednesday except Cabrera-Arteaga have detention or status hearings scheduled next week or the following week in federal court in San Francisco before Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley or Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James.

In Seattle, 23 defendants were charged by criminal complaint on Monday in a related investigation, of whom 20 were arrested Wednesday in the Seattle Area, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The investigation was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigations division, the San Francisco Police Department and the Oakland Police Department. Several local, state and federal agencies -- including the U.S. Marshals Service and San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force -- assisted in the investigation.

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