Corpus Christi Police Narcotics Investigators, with the assistance of Police SWAT and Gang Units, served an early morning search warrant today at a residence in the 1200 block of 17th Street. The search warrant was the culmination of a month’s long undercover investigation into drug trafficking from this address. Arrested as a result of the raid were Longino Castillo (DOB: 5-22-90) and George Soto (12-7-93), both known local gang members. Due to the gang involvement and the known existence of numerous firearms inside the residence, Narcotics Investigators enlisted the service of CCPD SWAT to make entry into the residence. SWAT Operators gained entry to the residence at approximately 5:40 am, with no injuries reported to any occupant of the residence or officer.
Investigators seized a virtual arsenal of legal and illegal firearms, including semi-auto assault type rifles, shotguns, handguns, and improvised firearms, sometimes referred to as “zip-guns”, along with over 1000 rounds of ammunition. Officers also seized several homemade noise suppressors or “silencers”, five sets of body armor, homemade breaching tools or “rams”, ski masks and gas masks. The existence of this bevy of weaponry and assorted raid type equipment suggests possible involvement in much more than narcotics trafficking to include robberies, drive-by shootings, home invasions and/or other acts of violence. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms responded to the scene and will be assisting with the investigation.
In addition to the weapons seized, officers seized distribution level amounts of synthetic cannabis, along with lesser amounts of crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, over $3,400 in US Currency, cell phones, weight scales, and suspected drug ledgers. Narcotics Investigators believe that this operation was a mid-level supplier of illicit drugs to smaller drug houses and street level dealers.
Castillo and Soto both face multiple felony charges including manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a prohibited weapon, and tampering with evidence, as well as potential federal firearm violations. In addition, Soto was additionally charged with felon in possession of a firearm and felon in possession of body armor. Both were arrested and booked at the City Detention Center.
Narcotics Investigators believe this raid will deal a serious blow to the proliferation of synthetic cannabis dealing on Corpus Christi’s west side, downtown and near City Hall. Narcotics Investigators will continue to pursue leads as a result of this search warrant and are confident that more arrests and seizures will follow.