News Release
September 25, 2008
For Information Contact,
Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Public Information Officer
(602) 664-5725

Mexican Meth Distribution Network Dismantled
80 individuals arrested; Drugs, Cash and Weapons Seized

SEP 25 -- (Phoenix, AZ) -- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in conjunction with the Tempe Police Department’s Special Investigation Unit and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office concluded a year long drug investigation on September 22, 2008.

This investigation was conducted in the area of Tempe , Mesa and Phoenix with the bulk of the enforcement taking place in Tempe . The focus of the investigation was to identify and apprehend dealers of methamphetamines using undercover operations.

Tempe Police Undercover Officers spent countless hours on this investigation which resulted in the following arrests and seizures:

  • 80 drug dealers were arrested
  • 30 pounds of methamphetamines were seized
  • 12 vehicles were seized
  • 3 guns were seized and
  • $490,000 in cash were seized
  • 6 search warrants were obtained and served

The efforts of the men and women involved in this investigation have made a significant impact in the sales and distribution of methamphetamines and the crimes commonly associated with this type of activity.

This investigation targeted everyone from the small drug dealer, to the pager dealer making multiple sales a day, to the mid-level supplier, all the way to the drug trafficking organization in Mexico supplying the large amounts of meth. Law Enforcement not only disrupted the organization but we eliminated their “customer base” which neutralized and dismantled the organization.

“Today, law enforcement disrupted and dismantled a significant drug trafficking organization from top to bottom whose tentacles stretched across northern Mexico to the neighboring cities of Arizona,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Elizabeth W. Kempshall. “These criminal organizations that prey upon the weak and addicted should know that the law enforcement partnerships in Arizona are solid, strong and willing to go the distance to make our communities safe for our citizens.

According to Commander Kim Hale, the commander of the Special Investigations Bureau…

“ This investigation is a good example of how strong agency partnerships, effective use of technologies, and exemplary police work by detectives, all came together in a coordinated effort, to dismantle a valley drug organization and disrupt the wake of crime from which it profited.  Drug profits come at a great burden to our communities in the form of robberies, burglaries, thefts, sexual assaults, and the list goes on and on. Criminals do not recognize city boundaries and through our partnerships to fight crime neither do we. Both the economics and the safety of a community suffer every time a drug dealer moves in.  Our goal is to remove drug dealers from our communities by identifying them, arresting them, taking their profits, and prosecuting them."

Arizona is a primary transshipment point for Mexican methamphetamine smuggled across the southwest border. The highly addictive drug is directly connected with many other crimes, including domestic abuse, child neglect, burglary, auto theft and identity theft.