Here’s an excerpt from a story we’re working on for tommorrow regarding a Mexican drug cartel investigation with a local tie. Below are pictures and a link to a DEA page with video from the July, 2008, methamphetamine bust in Industry:
The Drug Enforcement Administration announced Wednesday the conclusion of a 21-month investigation targeting a Mexican drug cartel, which included one of the largest methamphetamine finds in the United States in Industry.
“Operation Xcellerator” was a multi-agency investigations intended to deal a blow to one of Mexico’s powerful drug trafficking organizations known as the Sinaloa Cartel, DEA officials said in a written statement.
The effort netted 755 arrests, more than 23 tons of drugs and more than $59 million in alleged drug money, officials said.
“We successfully concluded the largest and hardest hitting operation to ever target the very violent and dangerously powerful Sinaloa drug cartel,” DEA Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart said.
As part of the operation, nearly 300 pounds of potent methamphetamine were discovered in a storage locker in the city of Industry, DEA spokeswoman Sarah Pullen said.
“It was one of the largest meth busts in the United States,” she said of the July, 2008 seizure.
“It was just based on a lead.. that led them to a storage unit in the City of Industry they believed contained drugs,” Pullen said.
Officials found 297 pounds of highly pure methamphetamine, known as “ice,” at the facility, she said.
“In order to be classified as ‘ice,’ the meth has to be more than 90 percent pure,” Pullen explained.
Several suspects were later arrested and charged in connection with the find, Pullen said, however further details of the Industry bust were not available Thursday.
Pullen said she was not aware of any other significant busts carried out in the San Gabriel Valley as part of the operation.
“The criminal organizations targeted in Operation Xcellerator were smuggling thousands of pounds of dangerous drugs into the U.S., many of which wound up in the neighborhoods throughout Southern California,” said Timothy J. Landrum, of the DEA.
“The DEA will continue the collaborative effort between federal, international, state and local law enforcement agencies that has led to more than 150 arrests in the Southern California area, sweeping these violent drug organizations off our streets and ultimately making our communities safer,” Landrum said.