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DEA: Largest methamphetamine bust in US history found in Riverside County

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What is billed as the largest methamphetamine bust in the country’s history was announced today by federal agents, who seized more than 2,000 pounds of crystal meth, as well as nearly a thousand pounds of cocaine and heroine, in the reserve of a Mexican drug cartel in Perris.

“That’s enough dope (for) one dose of methamphetamine for every man, woman and child in the United States and Mexico,” said Timothy Shea, acting administrator of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. “Study after study shows that where there is addiction to methamphetamine, there is also an increase in violent crime, including theft, assault and murder. ”

Operation Crystal Shield was a nationwide effort involving 70 to 80 investigators in several cities, including Perris, Fontana, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Atlanta.

Officers have seized more than 4,800 pounds of methamphetamine nationwide and are still working on more arrests, according to the DEA.

The biggest transport was to Perris, where DEA officers and investigators from several municipal police departments confiscated 2,224 pounds of meth, 893 pounds of cocaine and 13 pounds of heroin last week, according to Shea.

“Largest nationwide methamphetamine seizure by DEA in history is a blow to the cartels, but more importantly, it is a massive victory for communities in Southern California and the United States who had to contend with the torrent of methamphetamine entering their quarters, “he said. “We continue to work with our state and local partners to tackle drug trafficking at all levels, and this seizure sends a clear message that we are serious. ”

According to the DEA, an investigation into the transport and supply of illicit drugs entering the country from south of the border focused on the Sinaloa cartel, which operated in the Otay-Mesa region. Since June, smugglers and a drug hideout have been identified through continuous surveillance, largely carried out by personnel from the Fontana Police Department, authorities said.

The historic Southern California seizure stems from an observation operation on October 2, when investigators observed a courier fall in a parking lot at Sam’s Club in Moreno Valley. Two sports bags full of narcotics would have changed hands. The parties involved were detained, which resulted in the obtaining of a search warrant and service at the residence of Courier Perris.

Twenty-five travel bags loaded with cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine were seized, according to the DEA.

“The large seizures … have thwarted the drug traffickers’ plans to profit from these dangerous drugs which are causing incredible damage to our communities,” Acting Deputy Attorney General Brian Rabbitt said. “The Department of Justice is committed to making our neighborhoods safer by aggressively disrupting drug cartel operations in the United States. ”

The drugs were intended for distribution throughout the region, investigators said.

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