2,669 pounds of methamphetamine, two kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of tar heroin seized in joint DEA investigation
LOS ANGELES -- On Thursday, February 20, 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Riverside Office, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the Inland Regional Narcotics Enforcement Team (IRNET) conducted a joint operation targeting a local drug trafficking organization. During the course of their investigation the investigators developed information about a drug stash house in San Bernardino County. A search warrant was obtained and executed at the residence where agents seized 76 pounds of methamphetamine and one kilogram of black tar heroin. While at the residence investigators found information leading to multiple storage units.
The investigators obtained search warrants for the storage units and discovered a total of 1,043 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in one storage unit. The second storage unit contained a full methamphetamine conversion lab with 170 gallons of liquid methamphetamine stored in 34 buckets (five gallons each), which was partially crystalized. Additionally, there was ten pounds of packaged methamphetamine stored in the same storage unit with the liquid. The typical conversion rate of seven pounds of crystal methamphetamine per one gallon of liquid methamphetamine, (170 gallons x 7), produces an additional 1,190 pounds of methamphetamine. In total, 1,200 pounds of methamphetamine was seized from the second storage unit. The next day on Friday, February 21, 2020, the third storage unit was searched and yielded 350 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, two kilograms of cocaine, six assault rifles, one pistol, and 2,800 rounds of ammunition.
“Being able to seize and remove this large amount of methamphetamine from our community will definitely save lives, said DEA Special Agent in Charge William Bodner.” “Drug trafficking is not a victimless crime and through our law enforcement partnerships we were able to successfully disrupt the flood of drugs in our area. This seizure signifies we are making an impact in dismantling the drug organizations that corrode the safety of our neighborhoods.”
“The joint operation with our local law enforcement partners and the Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA) was a significant move to disrupt and dismantle sizable narcotics trafficking in San Bernardino County,” stated Sheriff John McMahon. “We will continue to target these criminal enterprises that invade our communities and put them out of business.”
This is an ongoing investigation and part of DEA Operation Crystal Shield.
Background on Operation Crystal Shield:
The DEA announced Operation Crystal Shield on February 20, 2020, and will direct enforcement resources to methamphetamine “transportation hubs” — areas where methamphetamine is often trafficked in bulk and then distributed across the country. While continuing to focus on stopping drugs being smuggled across the border, DEA’s Operation Crystal Shield will ramp up enforcement to block their further distribution into America’s neighborhoods. DEA has identified eight major methamphetamine transportation hubs where these efforts will be concentrated: Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix, and St. Louis. Together, these DEA Field Divisions accounted for more than 75 percent of methamphetamine seized in the U.S. in 2019. Operation Crystal Shield builds on existing DEA initiatives that target major drug trafficking networks, including the Mexican cartels that are responsible for the overwhelming majority of methamphetamine trafficked into and within the United States. From FY 2017 to FY 2019, DEA domestic seizures of methamphetamine increased 127 percent from 49,507 pounds to 112,146 pounds.
For more information please contact Public Information Officer Nicole Nishida at (571) 387-3136 or Nicole.K.Nishida@usdoj.gov