Three East Palo Alto men are in custody on various drug charges after a joint investigation between and other agencies yielded arrest warrants for the suspects this week.
Jeron Jones, 23, Ricardo Alvarez, 30 and Rodney Mitchell, 40, were arrested after police searched separate charges they tried to sell illegal drugs several weeks ago. detectives, along with the FBI, the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force and East Palo Alto police, have been investigating the three men on suspicion they were running a drug ring out of several East Palo Alto homes.
Jones and Mitchell were each booked on two counts each of selling cocaine or crack, while Alvarez was booked on one county of selling heroin, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. Jones and Alvarez posted on $25,000 and $40,000 bail respectively, while Mitchell remains in custody on $60,000 bail. The three men will appear in court for a preliminary hearing on March 15, Wagstaffe said.
Agents followed the arrests with three separate home searches in East Palo Alto, which resulted in the seizure of cocaine and several weapons, Menlo Park Sgt. Detective Eric Cowans said. Police found a large amount — several thousand dollars in street value — of powder cocaine and U.S. currency at Alvarez' home on the 2500 block of Illinois Avenue and also located a large amount of crack cocaine at Jones' home on the 100 block of Azaila Way, he said.
"It wasn't unprecedented for Menlo Park," Cowans said. "But it was a lot of cocaine to come across on one person."
Agents also searched the house of a suspected associate on the 100 block of Gardenia Way where they found and seized a rifle, two handguns, a Mac-11 submachine gun and a bulletproof vest. The associate has not been arrested, Cowans said.
The men have not yet been charged in connection with the seized drugs, money or guns, but Cowans said detectives are confident they can link the suspects to the contraband. He said the investigation has been running for close to three months.