Indictments were issued Wednesday in a large-scale regional drug trafficking case where 34 people were arrested and now face 124 collective charges, the South Carolina attorney general’s office announced Wednesday.
The smuggling operation was carried out from Los Primos, a Mexican restaurant near West Parker Road in Greenville County. The drugs were distributed statewide, but primarily in the upstate directly out of the restaurant or via a restaurant-owned taco truck, the attorney general’s office said.
Los Primos served as a regional hub where cocaine and methamphetamine were smuggled to other states, according to the state agency.
Investigators also uncovered possible ties to Mexican drug cartels operating in South Carolina and Georgia, the attorney general’s office said.
A total of 11 kilograms of methamphetamine, 584 grams of cocaine, approximately $63,000 in cash and more than 20 firearms were seized during the operation.
The plot accounted for more than 1,000 kilograms of methamphetamine, 100 kilograms of cocaine and 2 kilograms of heroin trafficked across the state, according to a statement from the attorney general’s office.
Thirteenth Circuit attorney Walt Wilkins said the organized drug operation allegedly trafficked drugs weekly in Greenville County.
“The hard work and dedication of the Greenville County Drug Enforcement Unit, SLED, and the South Carolina State Grand Jury have dramatically reduced the availability of drugs in the Greenville community and arrested some of his worst drug dealers,” Wilkins said in an emailed statement. “Although this organization has ties between Mexico and many cities in the United States, its drug trafficking efforts and locations in Greenville County continued to inject poison directly into our communities.”
The case was investigated by the South Carolina State Grand Jury, the State Grand Jury Division of the Attorney General, SLED, the 13th Circuit Attorney’s Office, the Greenville County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, United States Homeland Security Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office and Easley Police Department.
Bail hearings for some of the defendants, many of whom face multiple charges of drug trafficking and possession, were held on Monday.
Prosecutors invented the “Los Banditos” law enforcement operation, according to the prosecutor’s office.
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Greenville County’s Los Primos restaurant linked to Mexican drug cartels