Tuesday, January 25

The United States Dismantles a Drug Trafficking Network Linked to the Sinaloa Cartel | International


The Mexican Army guards a synthetic drug laboratory in Culiacán, Sinaloa, in June 2019.
The Mexican Army guards a synthetic drug laboratory in Culiacán, Sinaloa, in June 2019.Juan Carlos Cruz / Cuartoscuro

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has dismantled a drug trafficking network linked to the Sinaloa cartel that operated in seven cells located on the east coast to transport tons of methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl and other drugs across the country. Federal authorities announced this Wednesday that the so-called Operation Angels Envy, started in 2017, has ended with more than thirty detainees and the seizure of a hundred kilos of drugs and firearms, and millions of dollars in cash.

The investigation, which spanned seven states, discovered and dismantled a drug trafficking network that shipped drugs through California to seven cells that operated in the city of Washington, Maryland and Virginia, which worked for “a dangerous transnational drug trafficking organization” related to the cartel that Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán used to lead, according to a statement released by the DEA. These organizations would transfer their profits and trafficked firearms to the powerful Mexican criminal organization.

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The DEA reported that 33 “high-level individuals” have been charged and that they seized 32 rifles, 81 pistols, $ 5.4 million in cash, 215 kilograms of methamphetamine, 129 of cocaine and 42 of fentanyl, among other drugs. The amount of the synthetic opioid – up to 100 times more potent and addictive than morphine – was enough to kill more than 21 million people by overdose, more than the combined population of Washington, Maryland, Virginia, according to Drug Enforcement Administration estimates. from USA

Operation Angels Envy “undoubtedly saved countless lives of members of our communities,” Raj Parekh, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California, said at a press conference Wednesday at the United States Attorney’s Office in Alexandria. Virginia. Between September 2019 and September 2020 at least 87,000 people died of a drug overdose in the US, a 27% increase over the previous 12 months, breaking the record in a single year.

“As these drugs have a far-reaching impact on our country, I am proud to say that the work of our detectives (…) had an even greater impact on the operations of the Sinaloa Cartel,” said the Sheriff of the County of Loudoun (Virginia), Mike Chapman. In that county alone, they seized 50 kilograms of cocaine and $ 1.4 million in cash, the largest such seizure in the territory’s history. The investigations succeeded in identifying and dismantling other drug trafficking organizations in California, Missouri, Ohio, New England and New York.

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