Millions in cartel cash, cocaine, fentanyl and ammunition seized from Otay Mesa truck yard

Federal agents seized $3.5 million in cash and massive quantities of cocaine, fentanyl and .50-caliber ammunition from an Otay Mesa truck yard. (Homeland Security Investigations)

Three Mexican nationals tied to cross-border trucking companies were charged Tuesday in San Diego federal court following the discovery of a massive cache of drugs, cash and ammunitions stockpiled at an Otay Mesa truck yard, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The cumulative seizure — $3.5 million in cash, 685 kilograms of cocaine, 24 kilograms of fentanyl, about 20,000 rounds of .50-caliber ammunition and hundreds of body armor vests — is believed to be the largest of its kind in the Southern District of California, federal prosecutors said.

The stash illustrates the pillars of a drug-trafficking empire: narcotics that flow north and illicit proceeds that flow south, along with U.S. weaponry to maintain control over it all.

This collection belonged to the Sinaloa Cartel, authorities said. The three men who were arrested — Chula Vista resident Jesus Burgos Arias and Tijuana, Mexico, residents Juan Alatorre Venegas and Jose Yee Perez — are accused of trafficking drugs on the organization’s behalf.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.