February 10, 2012
15 Tons Of Meth Seized In Mexico
Mexican troops reportedly seized 15 tons of pure methamphetamine in the western state of Jalisco on Wednesday.
The historic seizure was an amount equivalent to half of all meth seizures worldwide in 2009. Experts say the haul could have supplied 13 million doses worth over $4 billion on U.S. streets.
"This could potentially put a huge dent in the supply chain in the U.S," U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) spokesman Rusty Payne said in a statement. "When we're taking this much out of the supply chain, it's a huge deal."
The Mexican army said troops received several anonymous tips and found the drug stash in Tlajomulco de Zuniga, near Mexico's second-largest city Guadalajara.
A statement by the army said the seizure was the largest on record. No people were found on the ranch, and no arrests were made, but it appears 12 to 15 people worked there.
Antonio Mazzitelli, the regional representative of the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime, said a seizure of this size could mean the product has not been able to be sold because the market is depressed, or it could be an expansion to move into other markets.
The previous largest bust came in June 2010, when soldiers found 3.4 tons of pure meth in three interconnected warehouses in the central state of Queretaro.
During the 2010 bust, soldiers also found hundreds of tons of precursor chemicals used to make meth. These seizures were believed to be linked to Sinaloa cartel's massive move into meth production.
A senior U.S. law enforcement said he believes the latest bust in Jalisco was Sinaloa cartel's stash. He said the group may be moving into meth "to reduce its reliance on Colombian cocaine by flooding the market with meth."
According to the 2011 U.N. World Drug Report, between 2007 and 2008, seizures of methamphetamine by U.S. authorities along the Mexican border increased by 87 percent.
The National Drug Intelligence Center says 80 percent of the meth coming into the U.S. is seized at the Mexican border.
On the Net:
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime
- 2011 U.N. World Drug Report
- National Drug Intelligence Center