A historical criminal arrested at the head of one of the most active drug trafficking organizations in northern Spain

The investigations began at the beginning of 2020 when the National Police investigators detected in Burgos a series of meetings between members of the “clan of the Charlines” and several people from Burgos linked to the world of drug trafficking. The investigations carried out revealed that the person behind the Burgos drug traffickers was an old acquaintance of the National Police with a long criminal record.  After several arrests, he returned to Burgos with the aim of rebuilding his organization, for which he agreed to an alliance with the “Charlines” clan that would allow him to exclusively distribute his merchandise in Burgos. 

The person in charge of the organization still maintained contacts with the main drug traffickers in the city, as well as in Navarra and the Basque Country where he had an important partner with the capacity to “place” a large quantity of narcotic drugs on the market. This new partner was a Navarrese drug trafficker who was being investigated by the Civil Guard, for which a joint investigation was launched, focusing the National Police on the Burgos branch and the Civil Guard on the Navarra branch and the Basque Country. In addition to cocaine from Galicia, the recently rebuilt organization began to traffic in all kinds of drugs, both marijuana and hashish as well as designer drugs, mainly speed. The wide variety of drugs that the organization came to handle meant a rare operational capacity among drug traffickers. 

Each type of drug is imported and distributed in a different way, which implies a great logistical capacity and contacts with various organizations to acquire each type of narcotic substance. During 2020, the criminal operation of the now dismantled organization was rebuilt, which consisted of moving cocaine and other drugs received from different criminal organizations – in addition to the Galician drug traffickers, also from organizations based in the Levante and the Costa del Sol-, to a garage located in the Madrid town of San Sebastián de los Reyes, which served as a central supply point. 

From there, an important part of the merchandise was transported to an industrial warehouse in the city of Burgos and to two garages located in the Basque towns of Ibarra and Ordizia, converted into laboratories, where the drug was stored, cut and prepared for distribution to the retail. The organization had a large fleet of 20 vehicles, mostly high-end, several of them with watertight compartments to hide money or merchandise, as well as advanced transmission equipment and frequency inhibitors. These compartments installed in the vehicles had electronic hydraulic opening mechanisms that made them undetectable in the routine controls of the Security Forces and Bodies. One of these vehicles had three hidden watertight compartments – with the capacity to transport approximately one hundred kilograms of narcotic – whose electronic opening was activated by a fingerprint reader. 

Those responsible for the network arrested 

 At the beginning of last month, the investigators learned that the person in charge of Navarrese origin and another of the members of the organization was going to travel to Madrid to stock up on hashish, which triggered the first phase of exploitation of the operation. The device deployed, in which more than thirty agents participated, managed to intercept the vehicles that were transporting the drugs. Subsequently, several searches were carried out in the homes and laboratories that they had in Burgos, Navarra and the Basque Country, in an operation in which the main person in charge of the organization was also arrested. This phase concluded with the intervention of 20 kg. of “speed”, 5 kg. of “MDMA”, 300 kg of hashish, 2 kg. of cocaine and 50 kg. of marijuana, plus a pistol with ammunition, 20 high-end vehicles and 19,600 euros in cash. 

Blow to the Madrid branch

 Meanwhile, the members of the Madrid branch were subjected to close police control while waiting for a drug reception operation to be carried out in order to identify and arrest the suppliers, since the investigators had knowledge that the drug stock in the garage used as a distribution point in Madrid was at a low level. After the fall of the organization’s leaders in Burgos and Navarra, as well as that of one of the main representatives of the Galician clans, the Madrid branch lost an important part of its operational capacity. However, believing that they were off the radar of the investigators, the organization’s lieutenant and head of the Madrid branch decided to resume operations. To do this, it sought new partners among the Valencian drug traffickers with the ultimate goal of becoming independent from the already fallen branch of Burgos. At the end of June it was learned that he intended to travel with one of his subordinates in two vehicles from Madrid to the town of Paterna (Valencia), in order to take charge of a cocaine shipment, presumably with a final destination to the aforementioned garage from San Sebastián de los Reyes. Once in Paterna, one of the vehicles involved, equipped with a stall-type watertight compartment, entered a garage and later drove to a nearby service road. There he was waiting for the other tourism that would act as a shuttle on the way back to the capital. In view of the facts, the vehicles were intercepted and their occupants arrested, locating fifteen packages of cocaine weighing one kilo each in one of the cars. Three other members of the Valencia branch were also detained. Finally, the organization’s garage was searched in Madrid, as well as another address located in the town of San Sebastián de los Reyes that served as a warehouse for drug traffickers. In the latter, a third member of the Madrid branch of the organization is detained, who was seized several kilos of synthetic drugs as well as cash, precision scales and laboratory material to adulterate narcotics.