DEA Fractures Major Meth Pipeline Into U.S.
AUG 19--(Washington, D.C.)-On August 18th and 19th, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, along with other foreign, federal, state and local law enforcement conducted Operation Three Hour Tour- an extensive ten-month, DEA-led investigation which is part of the DEA’s sustained effort to target major drug trafficking organizations. The DEA led arrests dismantled three major drug transportation rings with international ties and 27 U.S. distribution groups that are responsible for moving enough meth into the U.S. that could have provided product for over 22,700 meth users every month.
The three Mexican and Colombian drug transportation organizations (DTO’s) and their U.S. distribution counterparts dismantled under Operation Three Hour Tour are known to have smuggled and distributed approximately 4,000 pounds of cocaine, 20-30 pounds of heroin and in excess of 50 pounds of methamphetamine on a monthly basis-throughout the United States. These drug amounts could have provided nearly 1.81 million cocaine users, 22,700 methamphetamine users and close to 13,620 heroin users with their drug of choice every month. These organizations are known to have been operating within the U.S. for several years.
More than 65 search warrants were conducted resulting in the arrests of 164 individuals in the Dominion Republic, Colombia, Los Angeles, California, New York, New Haven, Connecticut, and Des Moines, Iowa, as a result of Operation Three Hour Tour.
“The streets from Bogotá to Los Angeles are no longer a free trade zone for the criminals arrested today. Rest assured the DEA will be relentless in targeting drug traffickers and their illicit money until they no longer have the assets or means to put their poisons into the hands our children,” DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy today said of the arrests.
Operation Three Hour Tour highlights the dangerous and violent nature of the drug trade and the DTO’s associated with moving drugs over the border. Among the drugs, cash and luxury items seized during the investigation were multiple high-powered weapons, including a 50-caliber assault rifle with armor piercing ammunition.
Operation Three Hour Tour resulted in 164 arrests, the seizure of 3,163 pounds of cocaine, 55 pounds of methamphetamine, 15 pounds of heroin, 9 1/2 ounces of crack cocaine, 10,000 doses of ecstasy, $5.5 million in cash, 216 lbs. of marijuana, 58 vehicles, and 52 firearms.