A“ highly sophisticated “Burbank cocaine ring was dismantled with the arrests of seven people and the seizure of more than $1.3 million, the largest cash confiscation in the Burbank Police Department’s history, authorities said.

Seven people were arrested in raids conducted by Burbank narcotics investigators and U.S. Customs agents at four San Fernando Valley residences, Goldberg said.

In addition, officers confiscated $1.35 million in cash, most stored in several cardboard boxes, seven cars, $60,000 in furs and jewelry, five guns, and several money counters.

“This was a highly sophisticated major narcotics ring involved in trafficking large amount of cocaine and the laundering of the profits,” he said. Arrested were Arturo Aguilera, 33, believed to be the ringleader, and Nelly Villages, 26, both of Tarana; Filiberto Prieto, 32 of Houston, Texas, Edward Pena, 19, Mukhtiar Singh Sagoo, 55, and his two sons Haripal Singh Sagoo, 22, and Iqbal Singh Sagoo, 26, all of Granada Hills.

The Sagoos are recent immigrants from Kenya, Goldeber said.

All were booked on suspicion of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and held $2 million bond cash.

‘Among the automobiles seized was a 1987 Ferrari Testarossa valued at $165,000, three Mercedes Benz, a 1988 Corvette, a 1987 Jeep and a 1988 Nissan.

The money was found at two Tarzana locations. Goldberg said $800,000 was found stuffed in several cardboard boxes in a house garage and the other $500,000 was discovered in a self-storage locker. About $20,000 was confiscated at Aguilera’s Tarzana residence and $30,000 was seized at the Sagoo residence in Granada Hills.

Goldberg said detectives received a tip about the ring three months ago and began an extensive investigation that included surveillance of the suspects. The continuing investigation could yield more arrests, he said.

About 90% of the $1.3 million confiscated will eventually be returned to the police department under a federal program that ear marks such cash from drug trafficking for law enforcement activities, Goldberg said.

Article extracted from this publication >> July 1, 1988