June 15, 2011
Contact: Erica C. Curry
Phone Number: (602) 664-5609
Operation Special Delivery Dismantles International Interstate Drug Ring
Involved Illegal Aliens from Numerous Countries
MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ. - DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman, along with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced today the dismantling of a year-long investigation concerning drug trafficking organizations that were responsible for the distribution of thousands of pounds of marijuana throughout various locations in the United States.
"DEA and its partners are successfully striking back at drug traffickers who use Arizona as a major transshipment point for their criminal operations,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “By conducting cooperative investigations like this, law enforcement is able to use all the resources and expertise available to us to attack these significant drug trafficking organizations that sell their poisons throughout Arizona and the United States.”
“This operation utilized intensive investigative techniques to track money and drugs being transported in and out of Arizona through shipping companies,” said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. “This case focused on both the source of drugs from Mexico through dealers in Arizona, to the final destination points throughout the United States. Collected intelligence detailed the involvement of foreign nationals from Jamaica, Nigeria, Ghana and Mexico, some of whom are in the United States illegally.”
The investigation has culminated in 23 arrests after today’s execution of 13 search warrants. Seven search warrants were served within the metropolitan Phoenix area, two in Pinal County, and one each in New York, New York, Cleveland, Ohio, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Los Angeles, California.
During the course of this investigation, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has seized numerous weapons, to include a stolen .50 caliber handgun. Also seized were 1000 pounds of marijuana, and over $1 million dollars in U. S. cash. In addition to the cash that was seized, Sheriff’s Detectives also seized 17 vehicles, and froze the assets of a number of bank accounts. Those arrested have been charged with Possession of Marijuana, Conspiracy to distribute, and Money Laundering.