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Final four plead guilty in drug ring bust

The remaining four men (out of nine) who faced charges in what law enforcement officers called an organized crime drug trafficking ring based out of Fallbrook have pled guilty.

Adam Lee, 23, pleaded guilty to two charges of the sale of cocaine in a settlement conference on September 4 and will be sentenced on October 2. Joel Cazares, 36; Jasiel Pedroza, 27; and Enrique Cazares, 34, pleaded guilty at their scheduled preliminary hearing on September 12.

Joel Cazares pleaded guilty to the sale of cocaine and was sentenced to three years in state prison. Pedroza pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for sale and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 9. Enrique Cazares pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale and will be sentenced on October 28.

Deputy District Attorney Chris Lindberg, who has prosecuted the case, said, “I think the Sheriff’s Department did a tremendous job in targeting some drug dealers in the Fallbrook community and I hope it will lead to a decrease in drug-related crimes.”

The drug ring was said to have ties to a local street gang.

A total of nine men were arrested June 18-23 in the operation conducted by the North County Gang Task Force, assisted by the Sheriff’s Department, California Department of Justice, US Marshal’s Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Five of those – Roberto Ponce, Carlos Gonzalez, Brad Block, Chase Kendrick and John Chisholm – pleaded guilty on August 14 to charges in the case.

At the time of the arrests, law enforcement authorities said the group was involved in purchasing drugs from Canada and Mexico, transporting them to Fallbrook and distributing them to street-level dealers throughout San Diego County.

The investigation was said to take place over a two-year period during which authorities used undercover officers and wiretapping equipment to monitor the group’s activities.

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