OPERATION ‘Los Toreros’ began last year as the Guardia Civil and the National Police joined forces to dismantle a drug trafficking ring in Cartagena and La Union.
The operation was successfully closed at the end of June following a string of arrests as the ringleader was finally caught and imprisoned.
‘Los Toreros’ leaves 13 detainees to stand trial, nine of whom are being held in custody.
he narcotics team at the National Police Station in Cartagena began their investigations last November after receiving reports of an intermediate cocaine trafficking operation having been set up by a local bullfighter and several of his cousins.
The groups ‘star product’, as head of the narcotics team – Deputy Inspector Ruiz confirmed, was cocaine although on some occasions they also sold heroin.
The narcotics team’s investigations were at an advanced level but a turn of events came in April as several members of the group including the ringleader were alleged to have been involved in a gunfight in Sangonera la Verde.
The gunfight caused the National Police – who were already following the movements of the group – to call in assistance from the Guardia Civil.
In May, officers raided eight houses in Lo Campano, Jose Maria la Puerta, Los Dolores and La Union.
They found more than three kilograms of cocaine, in addition to jewellery, frequency inhibitors, firearms and several mobile phones.
In this first blow, eight members of the ring were arrested with four of them held in custody.
Going forward, operation ‘Los Toreros’ was focused on locating and capturing the ringleader and his cousins and on June 22, officers raided his home along with several others.
In this last phase of the operation, the five final men of the ring were arrested – many of them with a history of drug trafficking offences – and they remain in custody along with the other four members awaiting trial.