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DEA: Operation seizes over $54 million in drug money

Packages of narcotics in car tire.{ }(Photo: Getty){ }
Packages of narcotics in car tire. (Photo: Getty)
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Covid-19 has captured most of the attention for 2020, but something else has been killing thousands of Americans at an alarming daily rate.

"We’ve seen a spike in the amount of methamphetamine that has being distributed and emergency room admissions with methamphetamine," said Dante Sorianello, the assistant special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in the San Antonio district.

Meth is flooding our streets with higher purity and a lower cost. In 2019 through May of 2020, more than 81,000 died in the U.S. the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period, according to the CDC. The sharp rise happened during the pandemic.

"So to address this DEA specifically initiated operation crystal shield," said Sorianello.

Operation Crystal Shield was launched almost a year ago by the DEA.

"The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Justice recognized the threat that methamphetamine is to our nation," said Sorianello.

Since the launch, the DEA says Operation Crystal Shield has generated more than 800 investigations resulting in more than 2,100 arrests, the seizure of nearly $54.5 million in drug proceeds, more than 300 firearms, and more than 60,000 pounds of methamphetamine.

"The cartels in Mexico are flooding the domestic illegal drug market with methamphetamine," said Sorianello.

Two additional methamphetamine transportation hubs will be added in 2021 to the operation, one in Chicago, the other in San Francisco. These major meth transportation hubs are cities where meth is often trafficked in bulk and then distributed across the country. There are other hubs in Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix, and St. Louis. Three of them are here in Texas.

"And what that is, is that specific operation in which additional resources are brought to bear against the trafficking of methamphetamine," said Sorianello.

Key for the DEA is attacking the entire supply chain locating and seizing meth shipments before they’re cut down and trafficked right here in San Antonio.

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In your neighborhoods, on the streets, Fox San Antonio and the DEA will keep you informed and safe.

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