Riverside (CBSLA) – Seven men were arrested this week as part of a major DEA operation to stop methamphetamine smuggling across the country.
“Operation Crystal Shield” was launched in March last year to break down eight major methamphetamine transportation centers, the DEA says, accounted for more than 75% of the methamphetamine seized in the United States in 2019. Operations in Riverside and Los Angeles counties are credited to be linked to the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and involved in the transportation and delivery of large quantities of crystalline methamphetamine.
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The survey identified administrators of couriers / hideouts based in Southern California, plus several locations associated with the courier and drug trafficking organization, according to the DEA. The men arrested on Wednesday face a litany of drug trafficking charges.
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During Wednesday’s attack, federal agents also seized 3 pounds of methamphetamine, a kilogram of heroin, 2 kilograms of cocaine, a handgun, and about $ 50,000 in cash.
The DEA says nearly every methamphetamine in the United States is transported by tractor films and personal vehicles along the national highways and is often found along with cocaine, heroin and fentanyl. Methamphetamine seizures increased, with the DEA collecting more than 6,000 kilograms in 2019, a 120% jump from the previous year.
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Since the investigation was launched, federal agents have seized 3,555 pounds of methamphetamine; 2,118 kilograms of cocaine, 69 kilograms of heroin, and more than $ 20 million in drug revenue, DEA officials said.