While many Americans are already concerned about drugs being trafficked across the nation’s southern border, U.S. Attorney General William Barr recently stressed the importance of addressing the issue head-on.
The AG said earlier this month that U.S. authorities must take “decisive” steps to dismantle the Mexican drug cartels currently controlling much of the methamphetamine trade, as Breitbart reported.
“Major Mexican cartels”
Barr’s remarks came last week during a press conference in Arizona as he touted progress made by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Operation Crystal Shield.
The task force was launched in February to counter a high volume of the potent drug coming into America from Mexico.
Barr explained that the methamphetamine is less expensive and more lethal than what had been produced domestically prior to Mexico effectively taking over the trade and transforming it into an “industrial-scale” operation. Drugs coming across the border are then reportedly being delivered and distributed through a number of U.S. cities.
The attorney general cited two “major Mexican cartels” — the Sinaloa and CJNG — as the driving force behind the spike in trafficking.
Operation Crystal Shield, however, has targeted nine distribution centers — Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix, San Diego, and St. Louis — that accounted for 75% of the meth seized by the DEA last year. Across those cities combined, there were 1,840 arrests made over six months and more than 28,560 pounds of methamphetamine were seized.
“They act with impunity”
Additionally, authorities reportedly confiscated $43.3 million in suspected drug proceeds and 284 firearms.
Likening the cartels to “states within a state,” Barr emphasized in a recent statement the importance of a coordinated response by U.S. officials.
“Almost all illicit drugs come up from Mexico and are controlled by these two dominant cartels — which are really states within a state — they act with impunity and have acted with impunity, and until we can deal decisively with the situation in Mexico, we are not going to see an end to the drug problem,” he said.
Noting that methamphetamine overdoses increased between 2018 and 2019, Barr said that its trade “poses a major danger to our communities” and reiterated that “the federal government is determined to disrupt, dismantle and destroy the violent drug trafficking organizations that place profits over human lives.”
Although the drug trade is a continued concern for border communities and cities across the nation, Americans can take some comfort in the dedication of the Trump administration to attack the problem at its source.