Federal agents have arrested 755 people in a huge crackdown on a Mexican drug cartel called the Sinaloa operating inside the United States. Read more and view video on Sinaloa cartel below.
The arrests of people involved in the Sinaloa cartel began as there were Drug Enforcement Administration raids overnight and early Wednesday with 52 arrested. In the past months, the DEA and other agencies have staged raids in 120 cities all across the country that led to 755 arrests.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents said $59 million has been seized in what was dubbed Operation Xcellerator.
“International drug trafficking organizations pose a sustained, serious threat to the safety and security of our communities,” Holder said. “As the world grows smaller and international criminals step up their efforts to operate inside our borders, the Department of Justice will confront them head on to keep our communities safe.”
As part of this 21-month-long investigation, DEA and other federal agents have seized $59 million in U.S. currency; 12,535 kilograms of cocaine; more than 16,000 pounds of marijuana; more than 12 pounds of methamphetamine; approximately 8 kilograms of heroin; approximately 1.3 million pills or 500 pounds of Ecstasy; approximately 120 kilograms of MDMA powder; and more than $6.5 million in other assets, including 149 vehicles, 3 aircraft, 3 maritime vessels and 169 weapons.
At the press conference discussing the arrests, Eric Holder also suggested a U.S. ban on the sale of assault weapons which should reduce the killing in Mexico. Just last year over 6,000 were killed in drug-related violence.
U.S. officials have a responsibility to make sure Mexican police “are not fighting substantial numbers of weapons, or fighting against AK-47s or other similar kinds of weapons that have been flowing to Mexico,” Holder said.
DEA Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart said the Sinaloa cartel spread far across the United States, not just to major cities like Washington and Los Angeles, but to quiet, smaller communities like Stowe, Iowa, which the cartel allegedly used as a conduit to funnel drugs around the country.
Leonhart stated that the Sinaloa cartel has become one of the largest organized crime operations in the entire world.
The overnight roundup by DEA and state and local police included arrests in California, Minnesota, and the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.
“We successfully concluded the largest and hardest hitting operation to ever target the very violent and dangerously powerful Sinaloa drug cartel,” said Leonhart. “From Washington to Maine, we have disrupted this cartel’s domestic operations “” arresting U.S. cell heads and stripping them of more than $59 million in cash “” and seriously impacted their Canadian drug operations as well.
“DEA will continue to work with our domestic and international partners to shut down the operations of the Sinaloa cartel and stop the ruthless violence the traffickers inflict on innocent citizens in the U.S., Mexico and Canada,” she added.
Kidnappings, killings and other violence related to the cross-border drug trade have escalated as heavily armed gangs battle for turf right on the doorstep of the U.S. narcotics market.
Way to go Feds on getting these bad guys off the streets. Personally, I love agents, especially TRG.
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