Huge drug ring smashed
By Tim Gaynor in Los Angeles
March 01, 2007
US agents have smashed a Mexican drug trafficking network by arresting more than 400 people and seizing more than 18 tonnes of narcotics. US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the 20-month operation dismantled the Victor Emilio Cazares-Gastellum network, which smuggled cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana from Mexico and distributed it across the US.
Police nabbed 66 people in co-ordinated raids across four states, bringing the total number of arrests to more than 400, he told a news conference in San Diego, California. "These arrests demonstrate what can be achieved when domestic and international law enforcement partners team up against a common foe," Mr Gonzales said.
But a report today by a UN watchdog indicated US anti-drug authorities face a daunting task. Mexican cartels now dominate drug trafficking in the United States, are taking over areas once controlled by Colombians and even grow cannabis in US territory, the International Narcotics Control Board said in its annual report.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said the latest operation netted more than 13.5 tonnes of marijuana, 4.7 tonnes of cocaine, hundreds of kilos of methamphetamine and heroin, and $US45.2 million ($57.4m) in drug proceeds.Full Story