US authorities on Wednesday announced a record-breaking seizure of methamphetamine, displaying 2,224 pounds (1,000 kilograms) of the drug recovered earlier this month in California along with cocaine and heroin.
“This is enough dope to prove a dose of meth for every man, women and child in the United States and Mexico,” Timothy Shea, acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), told reporters at a warehouse in Montebello, near Los Angeles, as he stood in front of a 10-foot (three meters) pyramid comprised of the contraband.
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“Study after study shows that where there is meth addiction, there is also an uptick in violent crime, including robberies, assaults and murders.”
The massive stash, with a street value of $7.2 million, was found along with nearly 900 pounds of cocaine and 13 pounds of heroin as part of Operation Crystal Shield, a nationwide effort launched by the DEA in February.
Shea said the seizure marks a major blow to drug cartels that use Los Angeles as a hub to move their illicit drugs across the southwest border with Mexico.
Bill Bodner, the head of the DEA Los Angeles office, said Operation Crystal Shield has led to 2,800 arrests nationwide over the last six months, with cases set to be prosecuted in California and Washington DC.
Shea said he believes the seized drugs were being moved by the Mexico-based Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels.
“The largest DEA domestic seizure of methamphetamine in history is a significant blow to the cartels, but more importantly it is a gigantic victory for communities throughout Southern California and the United States who have had to deal with the torrent of methamphetamine coming into their neighborhoods,” Shea said.
“We continue to work with our state and local partners to attack drug trafficking at all levels and this seizure sends a clear message that we mean business.”