17 Charged In East Bay Meth, Weapons Bust

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Hands hold bag of crystal methamphetamine and pipe

Hands hold bag of crystal methamphetamine and pipe (CBS)

SAN PABLO (KCBS) – 17 people have been charged following a major drug and weapons seizure in Contra Costa County.

The multi-agency investigation, dubbed Operation Red Reach, confiscated guns, drugs and money. Authorities seized more than 135 pounds of methamphetamine, which has a street value of $7.1 million.

United States Attorney Melinda Haag said among those facing federal charges is Norteño gang leader Joseph Abbate.

“We are announcing the result of this federal indictment in the city of San Pablo for a reason. That is to highlight the tremendous work of Police Chief Walter Schuld and the San Pablo Police Department,” she said.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

San Pablo police realized they were on to a large operation and called in federal and state agencies.

Larry Wallace with the California Department of Justice said local gang members were recruited in this transnational operation that stretched from Mexico to Washington state.

“This is an extremely significant seizure that will keep dangerous drugs and weapons off the street and disrupt the financing of the Norteño gangs,” said Wallace.

All but one of the suspects have been arrested. Magen Schwartz, the only female suspect, remains at large.

Another 18 suspects are in custody and could face state charges for their role in the methamphetamine ring.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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