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|Santa Monica Police Involved in Major Drug Bust|
By Lookout Staff
January 18, 2011 -- Santa Monica police were involved in a sting at Los Angeles Airport that led to the seizure of more than $2 million worth of cocaine in a Valencia warehouse last Wednesday.
Narcotics investigators from the Santa Monica Police Department, along with officers from three other departments and agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents took part in a multi-agency investigation at LAX on January 5.
The officers conducted the surveillance of a suspect identified in a previous major cocaine seizure, Vasile Babuschin, as he arrived at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from Toronto, Canada.
The officers executed three search warrants in Valencia and North Hollywood last week and found the narcotics.
"Babuschin subsequently led federal agents and investigators to a residence in North Hollywood identified as a suspected drug residence as well as a warehouse and semi-truck in Valencia," said Sgt. Jay Trisler, the Police Department spokesman.
A search of the warehouse and semi-truck in Valencia resulted in the seizure of 47 kilograms of cocaine and approximately $2,357,097 in United States currency.
Los Angeles County Fire Department assisted by cutting open the safe where the drugs were kept.
Babuschin and Sergei Souetov, both Canadian citizens, were arrested and taken to the Santa Monica Police Department Jail, where they were booked for narcotics charges. ICE federal detainers were placed on both.
El Monte Police Department, Costa Mesa Police Department and Anaheim Police Department also took part in the sting.
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