DOJ and DEA Announce Results of First Major Meth Operation
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Karen P. Tandy announced today the results of the DEA-led “Operation Wildfire,” the first-ever nationally coordinated law enforcement initiative designed to continue the fight against the spread of methamphetamine use and abuse in the United States. Over 200 U.S. cities participated in Operation Wildfire, resulting in the arrest of 427 individuals. The DEA and their law enforcement partners found 30 children present in meth labs raided during Operation Wildfire.
“There is no drug that has more consequences than meth – for the abuser, for the trafficker, for the environment, for communities, and for the innocent children who live in filth and neglect,” said DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy. “The meth crisis has ruined families, destroyed neighborhoods and put a tremendous strain on all levels of law enforcement and social services. This historic enforcement effort illustrates our commitment to extinguishing this plague and protecting innocent Americans from the harmful ripple effects meth leaves behind.”
“The scourge of methamphetamine demands strong partnerships and innovative solutions to fight the devastation it leaves behind,” said Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. “Through Operation Wildfire, we have joined with state and local law enforcement to successfully pursue meth peddlers and producers in over 200 cities. The Department of Justice is committed to using every available resource to ensure that our streets and neighborhoods are safe and that the methamphetamine problem is brought to an end.”
Operation Wildfire was successful, due in part, to the varied law enforcement and drug diversion tactics practiced by the DEA and their law enforcement partners including; undercover meth purchases; meth laboratory identification and seizures; execution of search and arrest warrants; identification and dismantlement of large-scale meth trafficking organizations; deployment of DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams to assist state and local authorities in their meth investigations; and the investigations of pseudoephedrine importers, grey-market wholesalers, and retailers.
Gary G. Olenkiewicz, Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Drug Enforcement Administration, announced today the successful culmination of Operation Wildfire. Operation Wildfire, a national project of the Drug Enforcement Administration, was initiated to attack the spread of methamphetamine throughout the U.S. The Dallas Field Division is comprised of offices in Northern Texas and Oklahoma; areas far too familiar with this plague. Mr. Olenkiewicz reported the arrest of 27 individuals, the seizure of 7.6 pounds of ice (90% pure methamphetamine), 5,000 grams of pseudoephedrine (precursor chemical used to make the deadly drug), the seizure of 9 weapons and $2,100.00 in cash. In addition, 3 clandestine laboratories were seized in the local sweep. Mr. Olenkiewicz stated he is pleased with these efforts and credits much of the success to the cooperative effort between DEA and our local, county, state and federal law enforcement partners.
Gary Olenkiewicz said “Operation Wildfire exemplifies the hard work and cooperative effort that our dedicated law enforcement community strives for everyday. The damage caused by the haphazard disposal of the chemicals and toxic by-products produced when making methamphetamine can affect even the most unsuspecting communities. DEA has seen this destruction first hand and will continue to diligently work to identify, dismantle and destroy these laboratories before this drug can destroy another family.”
The widespread availability of meth has made it accessible and appealing to U.S. teenagers. In conjunction with this enforcement effort, DEA launched a new website today as part of its efforts to raise public awareness about the dangers of the drug. The anti-drug website, www.justthinktwice.com, gives teens and their parents, the straight facts about methamphetamine and it’s not a pretty picture. The realities of meth’s physical and emotional tolls are plainly described and accompanied by before and after photos of meth users, which graphically depict the ravages of meth on the user and make a strong statement about its consequences.