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DEA busts drug mafia in Phoenix suburbs
In early April 2017, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted a major drug bust involving several gang members in the suburbs of Phoenix. The 18-month-long investigation led to 20 people being indicted for alleged drug-related crimes and another six being arrested during the bust.
Investigating officers believe that most of the suspects are members of Mexican criminal gangs with deep ties to the infamous Sinaloa cartel. “These Mexican mafia guys are extending their operations in the Phoenix area,” says DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. During the drug bust operation, it was found that heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and firearms were being smuggled into Arizona on a regular basis.
According to the law enforcement authorities, in the recent years, the West Valley region within the Phoenix metropolitan area in central Arizona has witnessed a rise in the number of stash houses where drugs are being stored and re-packaged before they are dispatched.
In this particular bust, authorities estimate that Mexican gang members could have trafficked over 100 pounds of meth and 10 kilos of heroin and stashed them in warehouses in the city’s suburbs. DEA agents said that the drugs in these stash houses were being shipped to six different states in the country. The arrested gang members have been charged with multiple felonies, which include possession of firearms, money laundering and narcotic trafficking.
Drug problem in Arizona
Phoenix, along with several other focal points in the state of Arizona, forms an extensive network of drug distribution centers in America, which now falls directly under the indisputable jurisdiction of the infamous Sinaloa cartel of Mexico. The drug cartel has formidable control along Arizona’s southwestern border with Mexico, making Phoenix a prominent starting point for all narcotic trafficking-related activities in North America. Cartel members use their connections to retain control over the Phoenix and Tucson areas and supply wholesale quantities of drugs — meth, cocaine, Mexican black tar heroin and marijuana — to various street gangs and criminal organizations in the region for further distribution.
Geographically, Arizona shares a 362-mile-long border with Mexico. Of which, 306 miles have some kind of fencing, whereas the remaining 56 miles form a porous border sealed with an occasional mesh of barbed wire or no physical barrier at all. This predominantly underprotected stretch between Arizona’s ports of entry (POEs) connects major cities with drug hubs in Mexico, making the region an attractive hotspot for Mexican cartels to carry out business with ease.
Experts attribute the sharp spike in drug trafficking along the southwest borders to the insatiable demand for drugs among American consumers. After all, the ever-growing surge in addiction is fueled by a corresponding demand for drugs. “Arizona is a narcotics shopping mall for criminal gangs across the country,” said a spokesman for the DEA. In the wake of the ever-growing drug menace, the Arizona HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) region has been identified with Phoenix and Tucson as the hotbeds of illicit drug trafficking activities.
Battling menace of addiction
If you or your loved one is battling addiction to marijuana, meth, heroin, cocaine or any other substance, seek treatment immediately. The Phoenix Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you get the best addiction treatment programs and embrace sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 480-696-5152 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.