DEA seized 225 pounds of meth in Modesto/Los Angeles operation

STOCKTON — Federal agents here seized 223 pounds of methamphetamine in an undercover operation that landed two Modesto-area suspected drug dealers in court, records show.

The busts occurred after a Sept. 7 undercover methamphetamine deal at a Home Depot in Modesto, and a subsequent search of a nearby home, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Roughly $18,500 in cash was also seized during the investigation, according to court records.

The investigation started with a tip from DEA agents in Los Angeles to the agency’s Stockton field office, who said confidential informants had tipped them off that drug dealers in Stanislaus County were looking for someone to purchase 300 pounds of methamphetamine from them, according to court records.

Using a phone number from the tip, confidential sources, and an undercover agent, the DEA set up a 200-pound meth deal at the Home Depot. Ricardo Ballardo-Quintero and Juan Suarez Jr. were arrested after placing 199 pounds of meth into the undercover agent’s car, as they sat in their Volvo awaiting payment, according to the criminal complaint against both men.

Ballardo-Quintero and Suarez have been charged with conspiracy and meth distribution, which carries a maximum life in person term. A federal magistrate ordered both men detained while the case is pending, court records show.

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Author: Nate Gartrell