Police in the city of Seville, Spain, have shut down what they say was one of the largest illegal drug operations in the city. In doing so, they also interrupted an illegal gambling outfit that was actively running in several locations.
Agents with Spain’s National Police carried out seven searches, seizing over 144 pounds of drugs and €11,000 (US$11,150). They also dismantled a drug supermarket and illegal gambling operations.
The group operated out of the Los Pajaritos neighborhood of Seville, where police arrested 18 people from the criminal organization. In the raids, law enforcement closed down several points of sale of illegal narcotics and others, an indoor marijuana farm and the gambling activity.
End of the Line
In the macro-operation, over 100 agents from the National Police conducted searches of various homes in the area. The raids, dubbed Operation Muzzle, delivered a strong blow to drug trafficking in the neighborhood. The gang was using the locations to offer all kinds of drugs, including cocaine, pink cocaine, hashish, MDMA, different categories of marijuana and even Viagra.
Likewise, police seized numerous documents, simulated weapons, jewelry and various mobile phones. This could give investigators more evidence to pursue additional arrests.
Several homes, including those of the leaders of the criminal organization) were searched. In one, police found the marijuana plantation. In addition, another floor was allegedly being prepared for future plantations.
The group was extremely organized and well-equipped, with the locations proudly displaying their illegal trade. According to local news reports, the layout of the rooms was more aligned with that of commercial shops, with drug-themed decorations and display cases with the different types of narcotic substances.
There was even a bar where patrons could relax and consume their recently-purchased products. If they wanted additional entertainment, several rooms offered recreational gambling machines.
Well-Organized and Methodical
The organization had secured the narco-flats with live outdoor video surveillance systems and armored doors. In addition, in keeping with the business atmosphere the group projected, there was an established pecking order.
The criminal organization had a hierarchy of up to five different echelons of responsibility, including bosses, lieutenants, vendors, security and surveillance on public roads. The vendors wore a work uniform composed of a t-shirt and pants with serigraphs of Pablo Escobar and the slogan “Silver or Lead.”
The National Police knew what to expect before the raids, as in investigation had provided certain details. All of the detainees v police records for similar acts, as well as other serious crimes.
Among the people police arrested are two women and 16 men, all between 18 and 50 years old. They face charges of belonging to a criminal organization, drug trafficking, crimes against public health, electronic fraud and money laundering.
Despite the number of arrests and the backgrounds of the individuals, a number of them are free on bond as they wait for their court dates. A judge ordered only two of them to remain in custody because of their previous criminal histories.
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