On Wednesday, it was announced that he DEA has carried out the largest drug bust in U.S. history, seizing 2,224 pounds of meth, enough to supply “a dose of meth for every man, woman and child in the United States and Mexico.”
The raids took place this month in Southern California following an October 2nd investigation as part of Operation Crystal Shield. The operation consisted of hiding the drugs in duffel bags before exchanging them between vehicles in public. Detectives even captured one exchange taking place in a Sam’s Club parking lot. In addition to the meth, 893 pounds of cocaine and 13 pounds of heroin were also seized in the bust. In total, the bust was worth nearly $18 million wholesale.
“These two seizures are more than enough to provide a dose of meth for every man, woman and child in the United States and Mexico,” DEA Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea said during a press conference on Wednesday.
The drug ring has ties to the Sinaloa cartel, an international drug trafficking organization that was established during the late 1980s and was once led by Joaquín Guzmán, also known as El Chapo. Multiple search warrants were served at various houses across Riverside County cities, including Moreno Valley and Perris.
“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 added.
DEA agent William Bodner explained that Los Angeles has long been a major city for drug distribution.
“We are a hub city. There are four major airports here, there’s countless freeways and package and parcel hub centers here that distribute throughout the United States. That’s why traffickers prefer to get the drugs here. It’s also a larger city, easier to blend in. They can break the drug loads down and do distribution throughout the country.”