Record-breaking meth haul made in California, says DEA

Operation Crystal Shield
The hauls are "enough to provide a dose of meth, for every man, woman, and child in the United States and Mexico", a DEA chief said

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have seized their largest-ever domestic haul of methamphetamine – more than 1,000kg (2,200 pounds).

The drugs were found during raids just outside of Los Angeles this month.

Another federal agency intercepted an even larger amount of meth at a San Diego port the week before.

The two hauls are “enough to provide a dose of meth, for every man, woman, and child in the United States and Mexico”, a DEA chief said on Wednesday.

Timothy Shea, the acting agency administrator, told a press conference that the latest seizure came from two apparent stash houses in the Moreno Valley and Perris.

Officials also found 400kg of cocaine. They said the drugs had been stuffed inside dozens of duffel bags, which were ready for distribution.

In the prior raid, US Customs and Border Protection officials – acting on information from the DEA – recovered almost 1,400kg of meth at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego. They also discovered heroin, fentanyl powder and pills laced with fentanyl – all disguised in a lorry delivering medical supplies from Mexico.

Californian cities and their environs are used as distribution hubs, because of their road and airport connections, which are then used to send the imports nationwide in smaller amounts.

Bill Bodner, DEA special agent in charge of the Los Angeles division, said the suspects at the Perris stash house are likely to be closely connected to major cartels.

“Someone who’s responsible for this quantity of drugs is someone who is very, very trusted by the cartels,” he said. “A low-level operative would not be trusted to hold $18m [£14m] of drugs in a house. It just wouldn’t happen. So these are high-level individuals.”


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