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Grandfather, son connected to Mexican drug cartel

Grandfather, son connected to Mexican drug cartel

Adan Pineda, Macario Pineda were arrested in Lindsay for federal warrants of drug trafficking for Los Zetas Cartel

By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN

LINDSAY – A Lindsay man and his grandson were arrested last month for trafficking marijuana for a Mexican drug cartel.

Adan Pineda

Adan Pineda

On Nov. 29, detectives with the Tulare Area Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team (TAGNET) arrested 59-year-old Adan Pineda and his grandson, 20-year-old Macario Pineda, for outstanding federal warrants at a home in the 800 block of Citrus in Lindsay.

Macardio Pineda
Macardio Pineda

During a search of the home, detectives found approximately 40 pounds of processed marijuana. Both men were taken to the Adult Pre-Trial Facility and booked for possession of marijuana for sales and maintaining a residence for drug sales.

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents had previously reached out to the Sheriff’s Office for help finding the men. Both men had federal warrants from the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas as part of Operation Joint Venture, a task force established in 2015 to investigate Los Zetas Cartel related marijuana cultivation and sales. The task force was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration in conjunction with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, and Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division. In March 2017, the task force announced it was looking for Eduardo Ramirez Pineda, who was considered “leader with the drug trafficking organization near Tyler and was overseeing daily operations of at least 15 marijuana cultivation sites across East Texas,” according to the San Antonio Express-News. It is not known if there is a relation between the Eduardo and the two Lindsay men.

All three Pinedas have ties to Los Zetas Cartel, one of Mexico’s most vicious criminal organizations known for beheadings, torture and massacres. Los Zetas (Spanish for “The Zs”), are most known for drug trafficking but also operate sex trafficking and gun running operations. Los Zetas began in the late 1990s when Mexican Army deserters went into business as enforcers for the Gulf Cartel along the Gulf of Mexico. In 2010, the Zetas formed their own rival cartel and by 2012 were Mexico’s largest drug cartel in terms of geographic area head quartered in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, directly across the border from Laredo, Texas.

Stuart Anderson, spokesperson for the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, said the two men were arraigned on the Tulare County charges on Dec. 3. Macario pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of possession for sale and was sentenced to 3 years probation and 30 days in jail on Dec. 5. Adan is being held without bail on a felony count for being a fugitive. He will return to court today, Dec. 12.

This case remains under investigation and anyone with information is encouraged to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 559-733-6211. Or anonymous information about this incident can be reported via Tipnow email: tcso@tipnow.net text or voicemail at 559-725-4194 or download the Tipnow app for Android or Apple phones.

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