Feds break record with cartel meth bust in SoCal

California

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Federal authorities are showing off the results of Southern California raids early this month that led to the biggest domestic seizure of methamphetamine in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration history.

The DEA says Wednesday a total of 2,224 pounds of meth was seized Oct. 2 in an investigation of a drug-trafficking organization tied to the Sinaloa cartel.

“This is enough dope to provide a dose of meth for every man, women and child in the United States and Mexico,” DEA Acting Administrator Timothy Shea said. “Study after study shows that where there is meth addiction, there is also an uptick in violent crime, including robberies, assaults and murders.”

Operation Crystal Shield is a nationwide effort involving 70 to 80 investigators in nine cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Atlanta. Agents seized more than 4,800 pounds of meth nationwide and are still working on more arrests, according to the DEA.

The investigation led to search warrants at multiple narcotic stash houses in Moreno Valley and Perris in Riverside County, officials said.

The drugs were intended for distribution in Southern California, including Los Angeles, according to DEA officials, who displayed the haul at the agency’s warehouse in an undisclosed location in Los Angeles County.

On Oct. 9, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than 3,000 pounds of meth at San Diego’s Otay Mesa border crossing.

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