Statement by Administrator Karen P. Tandy
MAR 20 -- $207 million is the largest single drug cash seizure the world has ever seen. This is like law enforcement hitting the ultimate jackpot. But luck had nothing to do with this windfall. This record-setting feat was the result of tremendous police work by Mexican law enforcement in collaboration with DEA throughout the past year.
This money was seized from chemical brokers that were supplying chemicals to Mexican cartels to manufacture huge quantities of methamphetamine—most destined for the United States. The citizens of Mexico and America should be encouraged because seizing this criminal organization’s revenue not only operationally and financially disrupts that organization but also cuts off the supply of a vital ingredient needed to make methamphetamine.
Mexican trafficking organizations operating on both sides of the border are the source of at least 80% of the meth consumed in this country. Less than a year ago, DEA and Mexico entered into an historic partnership to combat meth trafficking. I said at the time it was much more than a piece of paper or a press opportunity—it was a real joining of forces to target the global meth trade. DEA sent specialized lab teams and trucks to meth hot spots in Mexico, trained more than 2,000 Mexican police officers, and jointly targeted meth traffickers. Our partnership is clearly working—together, we are confronting and impacting the once untouchable Mexican drug trade.
Because of this week’s seizure—following so closely on the heels of January’s landmark extraditions of Mexican drug lords—the 2007 scorecard now reads: law enforcement: 2, Mexican drug cartels: 0.