Web Extra!

A Riverside resident is one of 46 people indicted by federal authorities for conspiring to deliver tons of cocaine and heroin into the United States for Mexican drug cartels. Francisco Espinoza, 27, was reputedly part of a crew responsible for being bag men for twin brothers who directed drug operations in Chicago.

According to the indictment, announced today by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Pedro and Margarito Flores received drug deliveries in Chicago and Los Angeles and stored the narcotics in warehouses in the Chicago area where the drugs would be divided into smaller units for sale to street-level dealers.

Once the drugs were sold, Espinoza and others, according to the indictment, would collect the cash from the dealers and deliver it to storage locations where the money would be counted and packaged for delivery back to the Flores brothers and their Mexican suppliers.

According to Randall Samborn, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, Espinoza’s last known address in Riverside was in the 3200 block of Harlem Avenue. However, Samborn said, U.S. officials believe that Espinoza is in Mexico at this time.

In addition to the indictment naming Espinoza, Holder announced two other indictments against the leaders of two rival Mexican cartels. The three indictments seek forfeiture of more than $1.8 billion in addition to vehicles, a semi-tractor truck and two Chicago-area residences that allegedly served as stash houses for drugs.

All 46 people charged face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted for their alleged roles in the conspiracy, according to a release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago.

Samborn said that the U.S. Attorney’s investigation into the drug cartel operation is ongoing.