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By then, Fox claimed Blevins told an informant "he was purchasing between 40 and 50 kilos of cocaine every six to eight weeks from Sarcinelli, in California. Sarcinelli subsequently confirmed this same volume of cocaine trafficking." On one occasion, the informant claimed, Blevins and two other big-time coke dealers "accompanied Sarcinelli from Executive Airport in Ft. Lauderdale to the Orange County airport in Santa Ana, California.

"Sarcinelli at this time owned two homes in or near Laguna Beach and also maintained two apartments in the same area." According to the informant, Fox said, "Blevins sold/distributed approximately 15 kilos of cocaine over a two-day period of time." The informant "believed that Sarcinelli obtained his cocaine from Macario at a cost of $49,000/kilo and distributed the same to Blevins at $55,000/kilo."

According to Fox's affidavit, an informant "related that he/she had been involved in narcotics transactions with both Michael Blevins and Robert Blevins (Michael's father), namely in the purchase of methamphetamine and the distribution of cocaine during the period 1976 through 1983." The informant added that "he/she acted as an agent for a client in 1983 who wanted someone to rip off a large quantity of cocaine from Michael Blevins and his partner, Jerry Bordeaux."

Bordeaux himself later described the incident to Fox, who reported, "One night during 1983/1984, three individuals whom he believed were Hells Angels forced their way into his house on Sweet William Court in Sonoma, at gunpoint, and after robbing him of an unspecified amount of cash, forced him to take them to Mike Blevins's residence, which at the time was located on Carriger Road in Sonoma.

"While still being held at gunpoint in the car by one of the bikers, Bordeaux said that he was able to observe the other two bikers exiting Blevins's home carrying one or two briefcases/suitcases, which were placed in the trunk of their car. The bikers then drove Bordeaux to a remote area between Vallejo and Novato, where they dropped him off."

Fox also described what he said was Blevins's first marriage.

"Rochelle Baba, a.k.a. Shelly Baba, met Michael Blevins in Sonoma during 1979, and after a few months of dating, they were married in Tijuana, Mexico. Baba did not believe the marriage in Mexico was legal in the eyes of the United States. Afterwards they lived in San Diego for approximately a year before moving to a home in Sonoma." According to Fox, "From the time she [Baba] first met Blevins through 1984, she did not know him to have been gainfully employed."

By then, Blevins was involved in real estate. Fox said he had built several houses and developed a storage-warehouse complex in Sonoma, all, federal prosecutors would later charge, with money tainted by his drug trade. "Blevins invested in excess of $1.2 million, all of which funds were in the form of currency, into real estate alone during the years 1982 through 1984," claimed Fox.

But Blevins's biggest real estate plays would come in San Diego, specifically on Otay Mesa.

In October 1985, Blevins became general partner of a limited partnership called Otay Mesa Industrial Group. Prosecutors would later allege that Blevins used $241,175 of the cash he had gleaned through drug dealing to put up his share of the down-payment on a 9.25-acre industrial parcel that the partnership purchased near the Otay Mesa border crossing.

According to a lawsuit filed in November 1989 by Mark H. Krighton, one of Blevins's limited partners in the deal, "Michael L. Blevins, Michael J. Ellis II, and Joseph M. Ellis, Jr. solicited and did induce plaintiff to invest in OMIG." Krighton went on to charge that neither Blevins nor the Ellis brothers were "licensed as investment advisors by the State of California and that by so advising plaintiff to invest in OMIG, defendants were unlawfully acting as investment advisors."

Krighton also claimed that neither Blevins nor the Ellis brothers "held a certificate as a broker-dealer" and thus were in violation of the law. The suit further alleged that as general partner, Blevins "failed to keep and maintain books and records for the partnership, failed to furnish or provide partnership financial statements and tax returns and reports, and failed to hold annual meetings of the partnership."

Krighton did not pursue his suit, and it was subsequently dropped. Interviewed by phone last week, Joe Ellis said that there was nothing to Krighton's allegations. "I was the real estate broker on the deal, that was the extent of my role. I didn't do anything else. As far as that lawsuit goes, I remember my attorney sent a letter and it was all over."

Joe Ellis was president of Solidus Property Systems, a real estate brokerage, property management, and development consulting outfit that for years has specialized in industrial property on the mesa. His brother Michael was vice president. Before that, Michael had been a cop in National City. Joe Ellis was also president of the Otay Mesa Property Owners association and vice president of the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce. In an interview last week, Joe Ellis said that Solidus is "pretty dormant as far as real estate." Solidus, he said, now operates a Metabolife distributorship "just like the 40,000 other distributors in the world."

Back in 1988, though, Joe Ellis had a high profile on the mesa, working alongside then-county supervisor Brian Bilbray to set up the South County Economic Development Corporation because, Bilbray claimed, the City of San Diego was hindering growth on Otay. "The city of San Diego really doesn't have a handle on the problems in South Bay," Bilbray told the San Diego Business Journal in February 1988. "It is not only becoming a show of its own, it's becoming the only show in town."

That same month, Joe Ellis told the Business Journal about his own dream for the mesa. "Otay Mesa needs to develop so the manager can fly in, get a rental car, check into his hotel, and be only ten minutes from his San Diego or his Tijuana plant," Ellis said. "To make that happen, the city has to improve Brown Field, and we have to attract some top-class hotels and restaurants."

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myzero1 Feb. 8, 2009 @ 3:17 p.m.

Matt Potter, Your article is informative and accurate. I am impressed with you. Are you following up on the Mob and Club $ fun currently? They have learned a great deal from the early years.

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