A year-long DEA Task Force investigation culminated this week in Charlotte, North Carolina, resulting in the takedown of a major Mexican cartel-linked operation and the arrests of more than a dozen engaged in the sale of heroin, meth, and cocaine.
A total of 18 arrests were made in addition to the seizure of 40 pounds of heroin, 20 pounds of methamphetamine, and 15.4 pounds of cocaine, according to the DEA. Also recovered was a handgun and $8,000 cash, according to local reports. Many of those arrested were determined to be in the country illegally.
A year-long DEA Task Force investigation has resulted in 18 arrests, most in Charlotte and the seizure of 40 lbs of heroin, 20 pounds of meth, and more than 15 lbs of cocaine. The drugs have a street value of $3.5 million. pic.twitter.com/LNoMuWAraR
— CMPD News (@CMPD) March 28, 2019
The investigation revealed the operation had links to Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG).
“This cartel is one of the most deadly cartels in America, operating in America,” said DEA acting assistant special agent in charge Dustin Harmon. Authorities indicated that the drugs seized were to be sold across the Charlotte region.
“Those are the drugs causing overdose deaths, a lot of pain and suffering and misery in the community and we want to do everything we can to stop that,” said Mecklenburg County Assistant DA Jeff Davis. The DEA said that there have been overdoses in the region linked to the busted group. The investigation also resulted in arrests in California.
The SBI assisted the DEA on a case involving 18 arrests where 40 lbs. of heroin, 20 lbs. of meth. & 7 kg of cocaine were recovered. That’s a $3.5 million street value. DEA Acting ASAC Harmon & SBI SAC Bridges talked with @wsoctv @AllisonWSOC9 about the impact on #Clt. pic.twitter.com/Wt9crUSrjf
— NC SBI (@SBI1937) March 28, 2019
The drugs were transported to the Charlotte area in vehicles equipped with hidden compartments and by air. Breitbart News reported earlier this week about a Mexican cartel-linked drug operation busted in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a raid on a luxury high-rise residence. It was later determined the drugs were transported and delivered in two suitcases by air travel.
The CJNG is blamed for much of the recent record-breaking killings in Mexico as they quickly move to claim new territories.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org