Attorney General William Barr and Drug Enforcement Agency Acting Administrator Timothy Shea announced Thursday that a U.S. counternarcotics operation dubbed “Crystal Shield” has led to the seizure of nearly 29,000 pounds of methamphetamine trafficked by Mexican drug cartels.
The operation began in February 2020 and focused on drug networks in Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix, San Diego, and St. Louis, where methamphetamine is regularly trafficked.
“Methamphetamine is a brutal drug linked to violent crime and responsible for far too many fatal overdoses,” said Attorney General Barr. “The astounding results of Operation Crystal Shield clearly demonstrate the commitment by the DEA and our state and local partners to prevent this deadly drug from reaching the streets of our communities. Prosecuting individuals who traffic these poisons remains a top priority for President Trump and the entire Department of Justice.”
The announcement comes amid a drug epidemic that has worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic as overdoses surge in many states where strict lockdowns have been imposed. For drug cartels and trafficking networks, it was a crisis to exploit. Sara A. Carter produced “Not in Vein” in 2018 to highlight the cartels’ complex drug trafficking networks in the United States. Click here to watch the film.
“In the months leading up to the launch of Operation Crystal Shield, communities across the United States experienced a surge of methamphetamine,” said Acting Administrator Shea.
He added, “The COVID pandemic locked down many communities and impacted legitimate businesses, but the drug trade continued. Under difficult conditions, DEA – along with our federal, state, and local partners – never stopped working as we helped stem the flow of methamphetamine onto our streets, even as violent drug traffickers sought new ways to smuggle it into the United States. The success of Operation Crystal Shield reflects the devotion of DEA and our partners to protect our communities from the scourge of drug trafficking and violent crime under any circumstances.”