A one-year investigation into allegedly illegal trafficking of raw dairy products by a Ventura County farmer, her assistant and a Venice store operator included hundreds of hours of manpower by 10 law enforcement and regulatory agencies using hidden video cameras and undercover agents to make covert buys, attorneys say.

  • Authorities this summer raided a Venice health food store called Rawesome, shown above last year, and arrested its operator for what authorities allege was involvement in the illegal trafficking of raw goat milk, cheese and yogurt.
(Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times)

The bust had all the makings of a major criminal investigation.

Ten law enforcement and regulatory agencies dedicated hundreds of hours of personnel to track the suspects. They used high-tech video equipment hidden on a utility pole for round-the-clock surveillance and undercover agents to make covert buys.

This wasn't a major narcotics trafficking investigation or an attempt to take out a violent street gang — it was a crackdown on what authorities allege was illegal trafficking of raw goat milk, cheese and yogurt.

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