Whittier man, 5 others, indicted in scheme to provide Mexican cartel with military-grade weapons

“This case alleges a scheme to provide military-grade firepower to a major drug trafficking organization that commits unspeakable acts of violence in Mexico to further its goal of flooding the United States with dangerous and deadly narcotics,” said United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison.

A Whittier man accused of leading a scheme to provide high-powered firearms and ammunition to a Mexican drug cartel has been indicted on federal charges along with five other men, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday, Jan. 24.

Marco Antonio Santillan Valencia, 51, of Whittier, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 21 and taken into custody on Wednesday, Jan. 19, the DOJ said in a press release. The other men indicted included Anthony Marmolejo Aguilar, 30, also of Whittier; Marco Santillan Jr., 29, of Pahrump, Nevada; Michael Diaz, 33, of Moreno Valley; Luis De Arcos, 51, of Midway City’ and Rafael Magallon Castillo, 34, of Oceano, the press release said.

Aguilar already was in custody on separate charges in North Carolina while Castillo is believed to be a fugitive in Mexico, the DOJ said. Santillan Jr. was arrested in Oregon on Wednesday and Diaz and De Arcos also were taken into custody, the DOJ said.

The defendants face a total of 23 charges, authorities said.


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