Agents seize $7 million in heroin in East Palo Alto

Seventy pounds of drugs, largest heroin bust in county, discovered in man's Lincoln Town Car

Agents from the state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement today arrested a Mexican national, Adam Alfonso Herrera, and seized 70 pounds of heroin from his Lincoln Town Car on Sacramento Street in East Palo Alto, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. has announced.

Herrera allegedly stashed the heroin in a secret compartment of his car, Brown said. "With a street value of $7 million, this is the largest heroin seizure ever made in San Mateo County."

Herrera, 27, is a native of Mexico and a known associate of the Sac Street Gang, a violent East Palo Alto street gang with ties to Mexican drug-trafficking organizations, the Attorney General's Office stated in a press release. Herrera has prior arrests for domestic abuse, kidnapping and providing false information to a police officer.

As part of the investigation, agents served a search warrant on Herrera's home at 559 Sacramento St. in East Palo Alto and on his car. Agents discovered a small amount of heroin in the house, officials said.

Subsequently, agents found approximately 70 pounds of heroin stashed in a secret compartment in the dashboard of the Town Car. The Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement determined the street value of the heroin is in excess of $7 million.

Herrera was arrested and booked into the San Mateo County Jail for possession of heroin for sale and for possession of a hidden compartment. Bail was set at $5 million, according to the Attorney General's Office.

The Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, operated by the Office of the Attorney General, is the oldest narcotic enforcement bureau in the United States. It targets major drug dealers, violent career criminals, clandestine drug manufacturers and violators of prescription drug laws, according to its website.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff


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Posted by al
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm

what about the kid that will take his place?
this will never end until drugs become less expensive. any ideas?
or are we going to just do what we do best and breed more of these

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Sure, someone will end up taking his place, but that doesn't mean these scum should be given a free pass until we come up with some all encompassing solution.

These people are violent criminals.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Glad to hear he was caught w/his contraband. The last thing we need is someone like him running around. But how quickly will he be replaced? Will he be deported or do we have to foot the bill for his incarceration? I was just thinking today that Sac Street seems to have improved a bit - wow, I was wrong.

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Posted by nope
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2009 at 7:29 pm

someone once told me, and i now totally agree; east palo alto will always be east palo alto. you can build companies there, grocery stores, banks, rebuild a block, try to mix the population, etc. but at the end of the day, it remains a struggling city. yes, there are many good people in this city, but just as equally many people with hopeless minds. at some point, those trying to make a fast dollar lost hope in themselves, were never taught what happens when you live this life, or they do know what happens and quite frankly just don't care. for sure there will be another dealer around the corner and the cycle continues. it's like a house with roaches; when the lights are on it looks clean and spiffy, but then, turn off the lights. hmmmm. not putting epa down, but know very well how things go down.

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Posted by are you kidding
a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2009 at 8:52 pm

this has been going on forever...question is: WHY? Moved my family away from all of this violence two years ago. Sad, sad, sad.

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Posted by He's innocent until proven guilty
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 22, 2009 at 6:18 am

I know him very well, he works in a catering company for a dot com company, and I have never known him to be a hardened criminal, he wouldn't hurt a fly really down to earth person. And Im really sad he got caught up in this and I am confident justice will prevail and they got it all wrong that ain't his car. It's all a big misunderstanding.

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Posted by gumpshion
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2009 at 10:09 am

Don't be naive, having a job is part of the game, even scarface had a legitimate job. Once you start rollin' you want to spend but have constrain your lifestyle to your legal earning ability which is something most dopers eventually succumb to. A catering assistant owning a house anywhere in san mateo county and a lincoln sounds like he is over his head already. why do you think rappiong was so hot-start you own label and claim crazy sales out of the trunk of your car---can you say money laundering? it is a game.i was a cop in epa in the late80's/90's and like east oakland change there will be slow and will only tax some other area as it is about a small percentage of people who cause the problems. i say build a fence- menlo park did- between willow and obrien and down the middle willow smart but noone caught on. east menlo is noy much better but it tends to keep the problems from moving north on foot....

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Posted by Yea right
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 22, 2009 at 11:49 am

Innocent until proven doubt. You say that wasn't his car, and it's all just a big misunderstanding? That's one of the oldest lines in history, and the district attorney ain't buying it.

If he isn't a hardened criminal, then he is a flunky for the drug cartel. I guess working for the catering company wasn't enough for him so he had to peddle drugs on the side. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Actually, nothing was said about him owning a home or the Lincoln. However, I know that street well and it's been beyond nefarious for many years. If he grew up on that street, he probably has been in the game for many years, despite his youth.

It'll be interesting to see who gets him - the feds or the state, if he gets killed, if he posts bail, if he flees a la Chacon or if he gets sentenced here and then deported.

Why would he be granted bail, since he sounds like a flight risk? As a lure? Wouldn't they try to flip him?

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Posted by No flipping here
a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2009 at 1:55 pm

They don't need to flip him. They are doing just fine, and know how the drugs are coming in and moving all around. There have been so many drug bust in the past few months I have lost count. All up and down, from the north bay to the south bay. Major bust!

How stupid of these nationals to think that just because police in Mexico are afraid of the cartels, that law enforcement in the states are afraid of them. I think NOT.

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Posted by MR.IRONIC
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 22, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Daaaaaaaaaaayum 70 pounds? I know somebody is pissed waiting for a supply that will never arrive.

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Posted by Midlander
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Since no one else has said it, let me be first: Congratulations to the state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement!!

This sounds like a good piece of police work. I hope they are similarly successful in the future! In the long run, this kind of a big bust helps make the business much less profitable, which will help reduce the supply.

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Posted by smart mom
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm

He should be deported immediately. This is a great deterrant and a cost-efficient solution. I'm against illegal immigration. It has ruined public schools and emergency rooms.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 22, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Where was the heroin produced?

More than 70% of the worlds illegal heroin is produced in Afghanistan and is controlled and funds the Taliban.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2009 at 8:19 pm

The problem, Smart Mom, w/immediate deportation is that he can sneak back in. It may not be likely that he'd be deported, *then* imprisoned, so the deportation thing may not keep him from his job.

The bummer is that busts like this are always used to justify more $$$$ for LE, & the results are always so stellar. Meanwhile, unemp in the valley is up, budgets are beyond down & this state is scaaaaaaarooooo@@@@)))ddddd.

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Posted by Inoccent until proven guilty
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 22, 2009 at 8:22 pm

The FbI are the ones who started the big appetite on drugs the US currently holds, and now they don't know what to do cause it got outta contro,l my advice make marihuana legal in all 50 states tax it appropiately and you will get rid of a big chunk of the criminal enterprise. Just cause you say you're a cop doesn't mean I will agree with you. Truth is that Cops work as correctional officers and they're the ones sneaking in all the drugs into the prisons, maybe we should check they're cars for hidden compartments and violate they're civil rights.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Cops and correctional officers aren't the same; they have different statuses, but deputies who often work the jails get mistaken for correctional officers and vice versa. Cops are sworn to serve and protect; corrections officers keep the jails, prisons, detention centers in order. Cops carry guns, corrections officers don't.

But you're right, the corrections officers help get the drugs into prisons. Organized crime is carried out by prisoners as well as those unincarcerated.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Cynthia
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2009 at 9:35 pm

I've live here all my 45 years and raised my kids here (none of us have records) I noticed back in the 80's before we were incorporated, the police had a lot to do with the drugs and crime (they were overworked and underpaid police from Redwood City) and nobody paid attention to the majority of drugs being sold on East O'Keefe St! That's where it got out of hand, I was there so I know, I was and am still shocked at how this area has been ignored and flooded with as many drug dealers as wanted! Because they are quiet over there and not too flashy, they are ignored. That was the street full of inexpesive apartment buildings and only cared about rent, not credit checks or how many occupants. I'm almost sure this new breed are the spawn or at least relatives of the O.G. vato's from E. O'Keefe. These new police need to take a look over there too!

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Posted by Hmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2009 at 10:52 pm

So, Cynthia, do you think this guy is related to the OGs from the O'Keefe of the 80s? What about Sac St. having drug problems since the 80s? It's the street where crack was first intro'd to EPA. A lot of the little kids of the late 80s & early 90s who were exposed to that lifestyle may now be dealers & gang members there, & this guy could be one of them, so they may not have a connection to O'Keefe, which of course was terrible back then.

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Posted by A guy for JUSTICE
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 23, 2009 at 7:10 am

I could put some money on my friend Adam not knowing what was in that Lincoln town car. And please news media outlets don't crucify my dear friend he's not a gang member just cause you live in Sacramento Street doesnt make you part of Sac street boys.
For anyone who's hearing this story don't make up your mind yet let the facts come out.
My friend Adam is an honest working legal resident who pays his taxes and lives paycheck to paycheck, he is a wonderful father and is not this tough hardened criminal that the media is reporting him to be. His mother and his family are very sad about what's happening and know his true character a peaceful soul a wonderful addition to our society. Go look for the true owner of that car. If you want some answers and DA of Santa Clara county or San Mateo drop all charges please. Remember that scum bag who killed the officer in east palo alto well that guy deserves to be in prison and he was a gang member from sac street that guy was real thrash and nutcase please don't confuse him with my friend Adam and don't call him a sac street gang member.
Thank you.

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Posted by agree
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2009 at 9:46 am

i agree with a guy for justice. adam is a sweet soul and has never been a gang member. however, he got caught up with the wrong people and/or surroundings. hope things are justified correctly.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 23, 2009 at 1:46 pm

So how can Adam's defenders defend his previous actions - kidnapping, domestic violence? Why would he be driving a car w/a secret compartment? If he was living paycheck to paycheck, who paid for that expensive car?

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Posted by anon
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 23, 2009 at 2:22 pm

It doesnt matter if Adam is convicted or let go. The cartels will kill him because he just lost 7 million bucks.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by stretch
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Mexican National? Can they just turn him over to ICE, deport him and pay for incarceration in Mexico? Who cares who made the drugs - the important thing is to keep it from coming into the USA, and - face it - most of it is coming from Mexico, including heroin, meth and cocaine. Stop the flow!

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Posted by V
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2009 at 6:28 pm


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Marijuana plants valued at more than $1.26 billion have been confiscated and 82 people arrested over the past 10 days in Fresno County. The operation started last week and is continuing.Marijuana plants valued at more than $1.26 billion have been confiscated and 82 people arrested over the past 10 days in Fresno County. The operation started last week and is continuing.
All but one person arrested was from Mexico, officials said

$1.26 billion in 10 days, that could help our budget if we taxed it and regulated it like liquor

 +   Like this comment
Posted by ten18
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2009 at 7:05 pm

So who's going to pay these pot taxes? The criminals that are selling it now? Give me a break - legalizing pot and then trying to tax is will just create another black market and law enforcement nightmare.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by seguridad
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 25, 2009 at 4:48 pm

remember,the national security agency monitors people.time to educate ypuself there may be spies watching people.dont under any circumstances ,trust any police or te federal governmemt.lives are in danger!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Y
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 11, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Sharon, the heroin was probably produced in Mexico, not Afghanistan.

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