AG Barr Details How DEA Put a Dent in Mexico’s Deadly Meth Trafficking

Posted: Sep 10, 2020 3:15 PM

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Speaking at the Phoenix Drug Enforcement Agency Division Thursday, Attorney General Bill Barr and Acting DEA Administrator Timothy Shea announced the results of Operation Crystal Shield. 

“Methamphetamine is a brutal drug linked to violent crime and responsible for far too many fatal overdoses,” Attorney General Barr said. “The astounding results of Operation Crystal Shield clearly demonstrate the commitment by the DEA and our state and local partners to prevent this deadly drug from reaching the streets of our communities. Prosecuting individuals who traffic these poisons remains a top priority for President Trump and the entire Department of Justice.”

Operation Crystal Shield was launched in February 2020 as a response to Mexican cartels producing methamphetamine on an industrial scale before trafficking the deadly drug to the United States in bulk. The operation targeted nine major city hubs used by cartels to distribute the drug to towns across the country: Atlanta, San Diego, El Paso, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, St. Louis and Phoenix. Between 2018 and 2019, overdoses from methamphetamine increased by 28 percent. 

“Every pound of methamphetamine seized represents American lives saved,” Acting DEA Administrator Timothy Shea said. 

According to officials, in the first six months of the operation, more than 750 investigations have been launched, 28,560 pounds of methamphetamine have been seized and $43 million in drug proceeds have been confiscated. Further, hundreds of illegal firearms have been seized from individuals working for cartels inside the United States.