Charles Ely was the proprietor of EnviroBreed in Mexicali, Baja California. Although details are not provided, Ely somehow became associated with Mexicali drug lord Humberto Zorillo and facilitated the shipment of the drug Black Ice into the U.S. concealed in containers of sterilized fruit flies.
On 28 December 1991, Ely was interviewed by LAPD detective Harry Bosch and State Judicial Police investigator Carlos Aguila. He objected to the detectives' intrusion into the facilty, implying that he had protection from the Mexicali Police. After the raid on Zorillo's ranch, EnviroBreed as also raided and Ely was arrested by U.S. federal agents.