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Cocaine operation was run out of L.A. daycare: Officials

June 22, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Cocaine operation was run out of L.A. daycare: Officials

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On Tuesday, Mike Feuer, the Los Angeles City Attorney, announced that he is working to close a daycare facility in Highland Park where a multi-agency task force seized approximately $430,000 worth of cocaine that was purportedly being delivered to the home-based business.

Feuer filed a civil suit against Felipe and Prodigios Garcia Talamante seeking the cessation of their multi-unit residence, along with monetary penalties, The Mercury News reported.

Members of LA IMPACT, a task force composed of several dozen agencies in Southern California focused on fighting narcotics trafficking, seized 20 kilos of cocaine at the daycare last month, where they also saw children playing and being dropped off, Feuer revealed.

He added that the cocaine was discovered next to a child’s bed inside of the day-care.

Felipe Talamante, left, was arrested along with his son Miguel Talamante, right, following a May 25 undercover operation by narcotics trafficking enforcement task force LA Impact at a Highland Park home which was also an unlicensed daycare center. (Courtesy photos)

Feuer referred to the mix of children and narcotics activity as a “toxic combination,” and said he is taking these steps based on accusations that “the home has been the center of drug activity, while also being an unlicensed daycare.”

Later this week, city attorneys are also expected to file a restraining order to shut down the facility.

One of the owners, Felipe Talamante, was taken into custody on suspicion of narcotics distribution and child endangerment.

Talamante was reportedly working as a drug distributor who “receives cocaine, meth, heroin, and marijuana from Mexico and sells them to customers throughout the U.S.,” the suit indicates.

Chuck Balo, the director of LA IMPACT, referred to the activity at the daycare as “blatant and careless for the community.”

“I’ve been in this business longer than I care to admit, and I’ve seen interesting and amazing circumstances, but this is going to be the top,” he stated.

Cocaine seized at the Highland Park day care facility. (Courtesy photo)

While the estimated value of the cocaine is over $400,000, it has a street value of at least $2 million.

Balo said the amount of cocaine discovered at the day care center indicates that Felipe Talamante served a high-level role in the drug enterprise.

It is also alleged that he implicated his 19-year-old son, Miguel Angel Talamante, who was also taken into custody.

The cocaine was brought to the residence during a May 25th undercover transaction in which a Department of Justice official who is part of LA IMPACT was in the middle of arranging a drug purchase from individuals at the property, according to Carlos Mendoza, a spokesperson for the task force.

LA City Attorney Mike Feuer filed a lawsuit aiming to shut down a daycare facility at 5215 Marmion Way in Highland Park where officials recently seized $430,000 worth of cocaine. (Google Street View)

Authorities worked to secure a search warrant, and “several hours later .. searched the location and found a bag of narcotics that were dropped,” he added.

The discovery of the 20-kilo package of cocaine is similar to an operation carried out two years ago by other officials that included members of the U.S. DEA, and from Inglewood and Simi Valley.

Balo said 20 kilograms of cocaine was also discovered in a search of the same home and a neighboring unit in 2015, although it was not clear if the residence was operating as a daycare center at the time. Felipe Talamante also was apprehended in that operation.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is now working on federal drug charges.

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