Federal agents said today they arrested two Modesto men and a Manteca man on drug charges and accused them of distributing cocaine flavored like cinnamon, coconut, lemon and strawberry.
"Attempting to lure new, younger customers to a dangerous drug by adding candy 'flavors' is an unconscionable marketing technique," said Gordon Taylor, assistant special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Sacramento.
The DEA said in a news release that the value of cocaine and methamphetamine seized in the investigation was worth about $272,000 on the street.
The release identified the men arrested as Gustavo Banuelos, 47, and Eduardo Rosillo, 27, both of Modesto, and Samuel Nungaray, 23, of Manteca.
Banuelos is charged with distributing at least 500 grams of cocaine. Rosillo and Nungaray are charged with conspiracy and with possession of cocaine with intention to distribute it.
The DEA undercover officers arrested Banuelos and Nungaray on Thursday after Banuelos delivered cocaine to undercover agents at the Vintage Faire Mall. the DEA said. Rosillo was later arrested at his home.
The agency said the investigation, joined by several regional law enforcement agencies, began about 10 months ago. Agents began looking into allegations that Banuelos was distributing large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine in the Modesto area.
Over the course of the investiation, agents made several undercover purchases of cocaine totaling more than 7 pounds, plus 1 1/2 pounds of flavored cocaine.