JUN 17 (TUCSON, Ariz.) – U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)Special Agent in Charge, Doug Coleman, today announced the seizure of 89 pounds of white heroin and the arrest of seven defendants as part of an 11-month investigation. The seizure marks one of the state’s largest heroin busts.
One of the vehicles used to transport the heroin.
The investigation coined, “Operation Smack Talk” targeted a large-scale Mexican heroin trafficking organization responsible for distributing hundreds of pounds of heroin from Tucson to various cities on the west coast. On June 13, 2014, DEA special agents, with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Tucson Police Department (TPD), executed a federal search on a suspected stash house in Tucson, Arizona where agents found the heroin load hidden inside a bedroom closet.
The heroin was smuggled into Arizona from Mexico utilizing non-factory hidden compartments in several vehicles, and then driven to a residence in the Tucson area.
During the course of the 11-month investigation, DEA agents have seized a total of 123 pounds of high-grade heroin with a street value of over $7.5 million. The investigation remains ongoing. Seven vehicles were also seized as well as $300,000 in drug proceeds.
Hundreds of pounds of heroin seized as part of an 11-month investigation
Heroin is a highly addictive drug and the most rapidly acting of the opiates. Its street names include Smack, Big H, Hell Dust, and Chiva.
The investigative efforts in “Operation Smack Talk” were led by the DEA Tucson District Office, Homeland Security Investigations in Tucson, the Tucson Police Department, and the Marana Police Department.
Complaints were filed yesterday in Tucson federal court charging the defendants with trafficking charges. All seven defendants were remanded to the U.S. Marshals Service and remain in custody.