Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this
Arrestees include Border Patrol agent and East County residents
Two more AR-style rifles, a pistol, magazines, and Russian-made ammunition, all of which, prosecutors say, were exchanged for drugs. Photo courtesy of the Office of the United States Attorney Southern District of California
East County News Service
June 9, 2024 (San Diego) – In sweeping raids across multiple counties including San Diego, 400 officers from dozens of agencies arrested 36 members of the Sinaloa cartel for a “fentanyl and methamphetamine distribution network” based in Imperial Valley, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of California. Charges were filed against 47 alleged members of the criminal operation, including 11 who remain fugitives from justice.

Those arrested included Alexander Grindley, who is accused of meth trafficking while working as a U.S. Border Patrol agent. Also arrested in the sweep or named in the indictments were Cory Gershen, 36, of Jacumba; Christopher Landon Bustin, 40, of Chula Vista; and Yomayra Patricia Penuelas, 37, of El Cajon.
The raids seized approximately 2 million doses of fentanyl (nearly 9 pounds) and 714 pounds of methamphetamine. In addition, 52 firearms were confiscated, including multiple AR-style weapons, as well as pistols, magazines, unfinished firearm parts used to create ghost gun, and a cache of Russian made ammunition.
“With this takedown, the Justice Department has dealt yet another blow to the Sinaloa Cartel and its associates,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.
Dozens of agencies — including Homeland Security, the DEA, the Border Patrol, ICE, ATF and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department — coordinated on the busts in San Diego; Imperial County; Fresno; Los Angeles; Phoenix; and Salem, Oregon, according to the District Attorney's office.

Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.