Major Sinaloa Cartel Meth Lab Seized in Mexico

Sinaloa's state police officers work during the dismantle of one of the three clandestine laboratories producers of synthetic drug, mainly methamphetamine in El Dorado, Sinaloa state, Mexico on June 4, 2019. (Photo by RASHIDE FRIAS / AFP)
File Photo: RASHIDE FRIAS/AFP/Getty Images

Mexican security personnel in the state of Sinaloa seized a major meth lab connected to the Sinaloa Cartel. Since 2018, Mexican officials busted over 20 similar labs in the state.

The Secretary of Public Security of Sinaloa, Cristóbal Castañeda Camarillo announced the seizure of a meth lab consisting of finished product and a large amount of precursor chemical. The Mexican State Preventive Police (Policía Estatal Preventiva) of Sinaloa and the Mexican Army (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional–SEMAR) carried out the raid on the afternoon of Sunday, June 16.

Security elements discovered the clandestine lab after receiving an anonymous report of strong chemical odors in the rural area near the town of Alcoyonqui. The community is located within the municipality of the state capital of Culiacán. While patrolling, they decided to further inspect a property where they suspected the strong chemical odors were coming from. Upon approaching, they observed several individuals flee. Authorities secured what was later determined to be a major methamphetamine lab.

Once investigative personnel arrived at the location, a total of nearly 6,500 liters of liquid chemical precursors were located. They also discovered just over a ton of precursors in solid form. Additionally, officials seized 100 to 150 kilograms (220—330 pounds) of methamphetamine. Investigators estimated the total value of the lab and product seized to be several million dollars, according to Castañeda Camarillo.

This seizure is the 23rd clandestine lab seized in coordination with other military assets, according to officials from the Ministry of Public Security. All seized chemicals and a vehicle located on the property were turned over to ministerial investigative personnel.  They will handle the investigative responsibility to identify the owner of the property and those responsible for setting up the lab. Breitbart News law enforcement sources indicated the lab is believed connected to the Sinaloa cartel.

Breitbart’s Cartel Chronicles reported on multiple drug labs recently seized in the area. Those included earlier this month when Mexican security personnel in Sinaloa seized a major meth lab connected to the Sinaloa Cartel  Officials estimated the seizure to be worth an estimated $170 million.

In August 2018, Breitbart reported three seizures totaling more than 120,000 pounds of methamphetamine in Sinaloa believed to belong to the Sinaloa Cartel aka Cártel del Pacífico. Additionally, officials carried out numerous methamphetamine, fentanyl, and heroin seizures along smuggling routes in Northern Mexico leading into the U.S. and along the southern border at border crossing and Border Patrol checkpoints. These seizures originated from the major drug labs being set up throughout Mexico.

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 robertrarce@gmail.com.

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