Stacks of silver packages stored in the underbelly of a tour bus that arrived to a Wilmington car shop from Tijuana were found to be hiding about 183 pounds of cocaine, law enforcement officials said following the drug bust Tuesday.
Three Mexican nationals, including the bus driver and two workers who were allegedly unloading the cargo at the shop were arrested, according to officials with LA IMPACT, an anti-drug trafficking task force.
The drugs have an estimated value of nearly $10 million, officials said.
"This is a high-level cartel operation," said LAPD Lt. Carlos Mendoza, who works with the task force.
The task force received a tip that the bus was making suspicious trips from Mexico to the auto shop, without any passengers.
The men were identified as Victor P. Sainz Miranda, 33, Humberto Vasquez, 48, and Jaime Ignacio Jimenez, 50.
Investigators believe the drugs were slated to be unloaded in Wilmington and then transported to another location before being distributed throughout the U.S.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
The drug bust comes less than week after five men with 53 pounds of methamphetamine were arrested during an undercover sting at an Ontario Hooters parking lot. In that case, officials said the men had ties to the Sinaloa cartel.