Now, this operation seems to be targeting South Asian drug store owners in the Central Valley. Check out this report from back in June:
Six Store Employees Arrested in San Joaquin Meth Drug Sweep
Joaquin County officials are cracking down on stores and store employees selling illegal amounts of pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in methampthetemine.
Federal indictments issued Friday resulted in the arrests of six people -- workers at two liquor stores in Manteca and Stockton where authorities said customers were able to buy excessive quantities of cold medications to extract the psuedoephedrine for use in meth manufacturing.
The indictments charged Manteca residents Anjinder Singh, 36; Jaswant Kaur, 53; Sucha Singh, 52; and Gurminder Singh, 24 with selling unlawful amounts of the cold medications at Manteca Liquor at 2189 E. Yosemite Avenue in Manteca. Also arrested were Paul Pannu, 38, and Navneet Judge, 31, in connection with sales at a Stockton Quik Stop as well as Delta Liquors, 519 W. Charter Way in Stockton.
"In one store, we bought 72 boxes," assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Grad said. "We went back and bought 12 boxes, then half an hour later, 11 more boxes. We had phone negotiations where they said they could get us what we wanted."
This case was a joint investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the San Joaquin County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force.
Grad said clerks in nine other Stockton area stores were also accused of selling illegal amounts of the drug. Those suspects will be handled through civil proceedings because the amounts of pseudoephedrine sold were much smaller.
If convicted, the maximum penalty under federal law for each offense is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Odds are that some of the same targeting practices that the Feds used in Georgia are happening here. Stay tuned for more news on this developing case.