A small neighborhood market in San Rafael, Calif., was raided this week by federal agents who say meth and cocaine were being sold alongside milk and bread.
Alfredo Lopez, 50, owner of the Azteca Market, was arraigned in federal court in San Francisco Thursday. Clerks Alejandro Miranda, 27, and Miguel Macias, 24, were also arrested.
“I never did see anybody shopping there, I saw people hanging out at the register, but I never actually saw anyone shopping,” Barbara Reinerston of San Rafael told CBS San Francisco .
The three suspects were under surveillance by the Marin County Major Crimes Task Force. The case was eventually joined by the DEA.
In the last year, the suspects reportedly sold drugs to undercover agents.
Sources told KPIX 5 that the three men have connections to the Caballeros Templarios cartel of Western Mexico.
Another customer said he was shocked to hear about the arrest.
“That’s my little shopping place to go get food and the thing that absolutely amazes me is that they’re like family, they’ve just been gentlemen,” said Gregory Johnson, who lives nearby.
Authorities did not find drugs at the homes of Lopez or Miranda. Three rifles and eight handguns were seized at Lopez’s house.
Lopez’s wife, Debra Lopez, defended her husband.
"I think they're looking for anyone to pin it on, to make themselves look good," she told the Marin Independent Journal. "I told the kids, 'If your father was a big-time drug dealer, we wouldn't be struggling to make ends meet.'"