In what's being called "Operation Tango and Cash," federal authorities handcuffed 15 people Thursday in a city-wide drug raid, including two San Antonio-based ringleaders.
Neighbors told KENS 5 that they woke up at 6:15 a.m. Thursday to a loud noise coming from a home on the 1200 block of Chalmers Avenue. They said that authorities knocked down the fence and broke a window to get in.
"I woke up because I heard a loud noise and I thought maybe my truck had got hit," said a neighbor who wished to remain anonymous.
The neighbor said that she immediately woke her son up after hearing a loud noise across the street.
"He tells me, 'Mom it's the SWAT team!' And I'm like, 'What?' And he goes, 'Yeah!' Then we heard a loud boom. He tells me, 'Get to the floor! It's shots!'"
Suspects arrested include members of the gang Tango Blast.
Six more people were previously arrested in relation to the drug ring spanning throughout San Antonio, Houston and Arlington.
In all, officials seized 22 kilos of meth, 4 kilos of cocaine and over $91,000.
The Bexar County District Attorney's office is on the task force responsible for the takedown, led by the DEA.
"This was an organization that was involved in the distribution of narcotics and drugs in several areas including here," Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said. "This really goes in line with the mindset of our Border Prosecution Unit, that grant position we just started, working with federal and state agencies together sharing information and sharing resources, too. Then there's strength in numbers."
"The goal is to make our streets safer, to make our houses safer, to make the community safer."
Each of the 21 people arrested is charged with one or more counts of conspiracy to possess and distribute meth and/or cocaine.
San Antonio-based ringleader Francisco Cerda, 43, was among those arrested Thursday. He also faces eight substantive drug distribution charges.
If convicted, each person faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
Agencies that participated in the investigation include:
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- Seguin Police Department (SPD)
- Bexar County District Attorney’s Office (BCDA)
- Bexar County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO)
- United States Marshals Service (USMS)
- San Antonio Police Department
- Texas National Guard Counter Drug
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- New Braunfles Police Department
- Hollywood Park Police Department
- Terrell Hills Police Department
- Western District US Attorney’s Office