U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Searches turned up meth-making equipment and more than 160 pounds of the drug at two homes, one in Pomona, the other in Van Nuys.
More than 160 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $6 million were seized from two separate homes in Van Nuys and Pomona this week, according to a statement released Friday.
One person was taken into custody during the bust, which took investigators 24 hours to complete, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.
Alan Tamayo-Montoya, 25, was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine for sale, officials said. He was taken into custody in the parking lot of a Van Nuys mall.
"Over the past year, we have started to see an increasing number of drug labs in our area," Briane M. Grey, DEA acting special agent in charge in Los Angeles, said in the statement.
The drug labs were reportedly discovered after Tamayo-Montoya was questioned by investigators suspicious that he was a runner for the meth trafficking ring, according to the statement.
Scales, drying equipment, packaging materials and chemicals commonly used to refine methamphetamine were found in the homes, which were unoccupied when investigators arrived late Wednesday on a state search warrant.
A lab team stayed in the homes through Thursday night dismantling both operations and removing hazard materials, the storage of which homeland security agents called a "disaster waiting to happen."
The seized drugs are worth about $2 million wholesale, according to investigators who described that estimate as conservative. The street value would likely have been triple that amount.
Tamayo’s arraignment is scheduled for Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The bust was executed by ICE officials working together with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the El Monte and Santa Monica police departments.