Justice in Mexico

“La Familia” Cell Operating in US East Coast is Discovered

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier (Photo Credit: The Washington Times)

12/20/11 – U.S. agencies arrested 70 “La Familia Michoacana” cartel members in connection to possessing and distributing firearms and narcotics in the Washington, DC area.  In a press conference held on Monday December 19 by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Colombia (MPDC), police chief Cathy Lainer revealed that these individuals were operating their business from a mock studio belonging to rapper Christopher Washington, who also has a criminal history.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had been conducting a coordinated investigation into the matter for a little more than a year. Authorities confiscated more than 40 kilograms of methamphetamine, 10 kilograms of cocaine, 1.25 gallons of PCP, 12 kilograms of marijuana and an undisclosed amount of heroin and ecstasy in this operation.

News source Milenio revealed that Sergeant Dale Sutherland of MPDC, who had gone under cover as “Richie Valdez,” an entrepreneur who owned recording studios worldwide, played a vital part in the operation. Police installed hidden cameras and recording equipment in his house, which led to the arrest of eight La Familia members in November 2010.  Authorities were able to monitor operations in various east coast states stretching from New York to West Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia.


Noble, Andrea.  “D.C. police arrest 70 in yearlong drug, gun sting.” Washington Times. December 19, 2011.  

Notimex.  “Arrestan en EU a 70 presuntos integrantes de “La Familia.”  Milenio. December 19, 2011.

Redaccion.  “Desmantelan en EU célula de “La Familia” que operaba en seis estados.”  Proceso. December 19, 2011.

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