The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Dallas field office recently announced the biggest seizure of methamphetamine in the branch’s history.
The meth — 1,930 pounds valued at $45 million — was found during a traffic stop involving a refrigerated tractor-trailer off Interstate 35 in Denton County, Texas, the DEA said Wednesday.
The 663 packages of drugs had been stashed in a secret compartment underneath the truck. Officials said the truck was empty.
“It’s a staggering amount to be seized at one time,” Eduardo Chavez, the special agent in charge for DEA Dallas, told local TV station WFAA. “They were like sausage links.”
The bust occurred on Oct. 8, but the DEA did not release information until recently because agents are still trying to conduct more arrests and get suspects indicted. The names of those arrested remain sealed.
While agents stopped the truck in north Texas, they don’t yet know what the drug’s final destination was.
Authorities believe the drugs were smuggled across the Texas-Mexico border and may have come from the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, a criminal group based in the western Mexican state of Jalisco along the Pacific Coast.
Chavez also said because of less pedestrian travel across the U.S.-Mexico border during the coronavirus pandemic, traffickers have switched to fewer but larger shipments.
“Drug trafficking organizations ended up with stockpiles on both sides of the border, because they didn’t want to stick out as much,” Chavez said. “Now they have resorted to having to take bigger risks.”
More articles by Noi Mahoney