The Drug Enforcement Administration Thursday announced a new effort to combat the distribution of methamphetamine from “transportation hubs” to neighborhoods.
“Operation Crystal Shield” will focus on areas where methamphetamine is often trafficked in bulk and then distributed across the country, according to the DEA.
The DEA has identified eight major methamphetamine transportation hubs where the enforcement efforts will be concentrated: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, New Orleans, Phoenix and St. Louis. Together, these DEA Field Divisions accounted for more than 75% of methamphetamine seized in the U.S. in 2019.
“For decades, methamphetamine has been a leading cause of violence and addiction — a drug threat that has never gone away,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon.
“With a 22% increase in methamphetamine-related overdose deaths, now is the time to act, and DEA is leading the way with a surge of interdiction efforts and resources, targeting regional transportation hubs throughout the United States,” Dhillon said. “By reducing the supply of meth, we reduce the violence, addiction and death it spreads.”
Operation Crystal Shield builds on existing DEA initiatives that target major drug-trafficking networks, including the Mexican cartels that are responsible for the overwhelming majority of methamphetamine trafficked into and within the United States, authorities said.
“San Diego is one of the meth gateways to the United States,” said Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery. “Over 60% of the methamphetamine that enters our country, enters through the Ports of Entries in San Diego and Imperial Counties. DEA and our outstanding law enforcement partners in the San Diego area will continue to work night and day to stem the flow of this poison from entering our communities.”
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