Feds Announce the Largest Meth Bust In US History: Riverside County

by Publisher CoachellaValley | October 14, 2020 1:34 pm

“This is enough dope to provide a dose of meth for every man, woman and child in the United States and Mexico. It’s a massive amount,” said Timothy J. Shea, acting administrator for the DEA.

Federal authorities on Wednesday revealed details surrounding drug raids in the Inland Empire that resulted in the largest domestic seizure of methamphetamine in the history of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

DEA agents seized about 2,224 pounds of meth, nearly 900 pounds of cocaine and 13 pounds of heroin that were stashed at several homes in Moreno Valley and Perris in Riverside County on Oct. 2 as part of Operation Crystal Shield.

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 drugs are allegedly tied to a cartel from the Mexican state of Sinaloa that’s involved in the distribution and delivery of large amounts of cocaine and meth in Southern California, which later gets distributed throughout the country. Authorities added that Los Angeles is the center point for the operation.

“We are a hub city. There are four major airports here, there’s countless freeways and package and parcel hub centers here that distribute throughout the United States,” said DEA agent William Bodner. “That’s why traffickers prefer to get the drugs here. It’s also a larger city, easier to blend in. They can break the drug loads down and do distribution throughout the country.”

Narcotics seized during an Oct. 9 bust in Otay Mesa. (DEA)

It’s not the only huge meth seizure in the region. 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.

The drugs have a wholesale value of $18 million, worth a lot more on the streets, but officials on Wednesday stressed that the drugs would no longer make it there.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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