SAN DIEGO, CA –Acting Special Agent in Charge William R. Sherman, San Diego Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Bonnie Dumanis, District Attorney for San Diego County announced today the arrests of 23 defendants as part of “Project Delirium,” a national takedown targeting Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations. Over the past 15 months, the DEA San Diego Field Division, along with numerous other DEA offices nationwide, have been conducting simultaneous investigations under Project Delirium into major Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations with significant links to La Familia Michoacana, a violent Mexican Drug Cartel based in Michoacan, Mexico.
“Being so close to the border, most of our cases have direct ties to the Mexican cartels. While the arrest of 23 people and the seizure of over 200 pounds of methamphetamine makes this case very noteworthy and has a significant impact locally, we also know that dismantling the transportation and distribution network of a cartel like La Familia will have a long term, far reaching impact on their ability to operate,” says Acting Special Agent in Charge William R. Sherman of the San Diego DEA. “When you take the arrests made here in San Diego and couple them with the coordinated nationwide effort this week against this violent organization, you see that we have disrupted their whole distribution chain, from the street seller to the middle man to the leaders of the organization in Mexico.”
Drugs seized during the operation include more than 200 pounds of meth, nearly 200 pounds of marijuana, one pound of cocaine and three pounds of heroin. The District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against 12 defendants, including possession of methamphetamine for sale, transportation of methamphetamine and employing a minor to carry a controlled substance. Arraignments for some of the defendants are scheduled for 1:30 today in San Diego County Superior Court downtown. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is also prosecuting defendants arrested as part of the takedown.
“This is the second time in one week that law enforcement agencies have joined forces to disrupt a major drug trafficking operation with ties to Mexico,” said DA Dumanis. “These latest arrests and our office’s prosecution of these individuals will have a significant impact on the cartel’s ability to operate in San Diego.”
Project Delirium is a 15-month long investigation targeting major Mexican drug trafficking organizations with significant links to La Familia Michoacana, a violent Mexican drug cartel based in Michoacan, Mexico. Across the country, there were more than 1,980 arrests. Seizures included $60 million in cash, approximately 2,770 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 2,720 kilograms of cocaine, 1,000 pounds of heroin, 14,000 pounds of marijuana and $3.8 million in other assets.
ther agencies involved in the investigation were the United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the San Diego Sheriff’s Department (SDSD), the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD).