The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday unsealed eight indictments in San Diego and elsewhere detailing a massive narcotics trafficking operation by the new bosses of the Beltrán Leyva organization, once one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels.
The announcement came the same day the U.S. Coast Guard unloaded more than 18,000 pounds of seized cocaine at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal in Barrio Logan. Officials said the two events were unrelated, as the cocaine offloaded by the Coast Guard was seized over the past two months, while the alleged criminal conduct detailed in the indictments dates back years. But both events highlighted the way Mexican cartels and South American suppliers ship vast amounts of cocaine and other drugs along maritime routes in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Coinciding with the unsealing of the indictments, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced sanctions against 15 people, all Mexican citizens, for their alleged roles in running the Beltrán Leyva organization. Nine of those were among the 29 Mexican citizens named in the three unsealed indictments in San Diego, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California.
Another 31 people were named in the other indictments unsealed in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles.
Among those indicted in San Diego was Oscar Manuel Gastelum Iribe, alias ” El…