19 People Charged with Dealing Heroin Using Orange County Call Centers
Federal prosecution alleges that a trafficking ring led by 2 brothers in Riverside and Hemet organized the smuggling of heroin from Mexico to the United States. Other members of the ring would allegedly coordinate sales by taking delivery orders from call centers in Orange County, distributing an estimated $2 million worth of the illegal drug.
The money was allegedly deposited in separate bank accounts held by members of the drug ring in increments of under $10,000 at a time. According to the prosecution, it was often then transferred to family members’ bank accounts in an attempt to hide the heroin profits. The indictment also states that the money was transferred into an escrow account to purchase property in Hemet.
The charges vary among members of the alleged drug ring and include possession of heroin with intent to sell, conspiracy to distribute heroin, engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
If convicted, the charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Heroin Use in California
Heroin is a deadly illicit opioid that was involved in 778 overdoses in California in 2018. Perhaps even more alarming, is the fact that since then, an increasing amount of heroin and other drugs is being cut with synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which is even more potent and deadly. Most of the heroin and fentanyl in California is smuggled across the CA-Mexico border.
In an attempt to lower the death toll caused by the opioid epidemic, California and many other states have increased law enforcement efforts targeting the smuggling and distribution of these drugs. Additionally, harm reduction policies such as needle exchange programs and Good Samaritan Laws that protect people that seek help or administer naloxone to someone undergoing an opioid overdose have been expanded in recent years.
Outreach programs aimed at awareness, prevention, and providing treatment to people struggling with opioid use disorder (OUD) have also been expanded.
Laguna Treatment Hospital
Heroin withdrawal is seldom deadly, but it is extremely unpleasant. Often, getting and remaining sober requires getting help. Laguna Treatment Hospital in Orange County is an inpatient/residential rehabilitation facility that also specializes in medically assisted detox, allowing patients to withdraw safely before gaining the skills necessary to maintain long-term sobriety.
In the medical detox facility, patient comfort, health and safety are paramount. Vital signs are monitored, medical staff check on patients routinely, and emergencies are responded to straight away. The goal is to make the withdrawal process as safe and comfortable as possible.
Following detox, patients can continue treatment either in an intensive hospital environment—ideal for patients with co-morbid conditions or that need a highly structured approach to rehabilitation—or the residential treatment program, in which treatment is provided in a hotel-like facility, complete with amenities and supplemental therapy programs like art, music, and yoga therapy.
Upon completion of the rehabilitation program, patients work with their case managers to find transitional housing if needed, and facilitate entry into the alumni network, which enables patients to stay in contact with their peers and attend meetings and sober events, forging a supportive network that is conducive to sobriety.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please reach out to an admissions navigator at to learn more about treatment options and the care provided at Laguna Treatment Hospital.