DESERT HOT SPRINGS – A multi-agency investigation leads to the arrest of three people who are said to be large-scale drug distributors.
Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco identified them Rigoberto Lopez, 22, Miguel Gilbert, 26, and Teresa Coronaod, 20, all of Desert Hot Springs.
The arrests follow a nearly year-long investigation into drug rings throughout the Desert Hot Springs area.
Lopez and Gilbert are rival drug leaders, both with ties to Mexican drug cartels. Lopez, Gilbert, and Coronado all face federal drug and weapon charges.
Lopez owned as many as five homes in the Desert Hot Springs area, and his girlfriend had more than $500,000 dollars in cash in an account, despite not having a job, said Pacheco.
Law enforcement confiscated five cars during Tuesday’s raid, including a BMW worth an estimated $100,000.00.
The FBI is still looking for three additional suspects.
The investigation included the cooperation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Desert Hot Springs Police Department, and the Internal Revenue Service.
The investigation is being called “phase 2” of Operation Falling Sun. It was a months-long investigation that lead to the arrest of more than 130 peope in March. In that operation, 700 law enforcement officers came to Desert Hot Springs to carry out the largest gang raid in Riverside County history.