DEA Announces Largest Single U.S. Strike Against Mexican Drug Cartels and Facilitators
JUN 11 -- EL PASO – DEA El Paso Special Agent-in-Charge Joseph Arabit and other federal, state, and local law enforcement officials today announced 163 arrests in West Texas and New Mexico as part of Project Deliverance, the largest single U.S. strike against Mexican drug cartels and those who facilitate their activities.
The success of this collection of cases that make up Project Deliverance is undeniable: Record seizures of cash and drugs, and over 2,200 individuals arrested over a 22-month period in the largest law enforcement strike against Mexico-based drug trafficking organizations. This nationwide initiative involved cases in approximately 26 cities and resulted in the seizure of 2.5 tons of cocaine, 69 tons of marijuana, 1,262 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,410 pounds of heroin, $154 million in U.S. currency, 501 weapons, and 527 vehicles.
Locally, arrests took place in El Paso; Midland, Texas; Andrews, Texas; Ft. Stockton, Texas; Alpine, Texas; Balmorhea, Texas; Las Cruces, New Mexico; Espanola, New Mexico; and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Many of these local arrests are the result of DEA investigations reaching into the retail distribution networks locally and will directly impact the drug markets in smaller communities. For example, Espanola, New Mexico arrests included several local dealers who have preyed on a community where heroin abuse is both endemic and multigenerational and which has one of the highest rates of drug-related deaths in the country.