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Huge drug bust in Boyle Heights may trigger more deportations
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers on April 24, 2017, arrested four men in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles on charges of smuggling more than 30 pounds of cocaine across the U.S.-Mexico border. The CBP said that two of them could face deportation as they were illegal immigrants in the country.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that 50-year-old Hugo Rueda, 47-year-old Enrique Rueda, 28-year-old Erasmo Pimentel and 46-year-old Jose Gutierrez were arrested from the predominantly Mexican American working-class neighborhood of Boyle Heights, east of downtown Los Angeles on drug distribution charges.
Investigators found 33 pounds of cocaine in Hugo Rueda’s car as well as $600,000 in cash and an ounce of methamphetamine in his Boyle Heights apartment. At the time of Rueda’s arrest, even his wife Teresa Vidal-Jaime was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents for being an illegal immigrant.
Although Teresa was not involved in any drug-related offense, officials said that she was most likely to face deportation to Mexico. However, Teresa’s detention led to protest in downtown Los Angeles, with protestors stopping vehicles and forming a human barrier around Claudia, the daughter of Rueda and Teresa. Demanding the immediate release of Teresa, they said that she did not have anything to do with the drugs.
Drug trafficking is a major problem in Los Angeles
At a distance of 157 miles from the Mexican border town of Tijuana, Los Angeles is virtually a second Tijuana. With an increasing number of undocumented immigrants crossing the border, there are more people of Mexican descent in Los Angeles than in any other U.S. city. Moreover, such a proximity to the Mexican borders makes Los Angeles a coveted spot for drug cartels and other narcotics trafficking rings to operate with absolute ease in the city.
With growing numbers of mentally ill and homeless people walking around downtown Los Angeles, it is certainly not a great place to be after dark. In the cover of darkness, this neighborhood witnesses shadier sorts of people including drug dealers and people addicted to substances. In the Skid Row area, which is home to thousands of homeless drug users who have hit rock bottom, addiction is more rampant. Appalling sanitary conditions, used joints and broken needles scattered in plain sight, streets of the Skid Row are an easy catch for hundreds of drug dealers on the prowl for easy prey. Other affected areas include East Hollywood, Alameda, Long Beach, South Central, Westlake and MacArthur Park, Highland Park and Lincoln Heights.
The Los Angeles Police Department is consistent in its efforts to tackle the growing illicit manufacture and distribution of drugs, and develop measures to eliminate the menace from every nook and corner of the city. Nevertheless, the cure to any addiction depends on an individual’s readiness to break free and lead a normal life. Customized behavioral therapies are an efficient means to combat abuse and dependence and are time-tested methods to help people to abandon addiction and walk toward sobriety.
There is hope
If you or your loved one is addicted to drugs, seek treatment immediately. The Los Angeles Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you get the best addiction treatment programs to embrace sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 213-986-2445 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.