MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The leader of a Mexican drug cartel and five others have been charged with importing over 1,100 pounds of methamphetamine into the US. It was the largest amount of meth ever seized in Miami-Dade County, officials said.
Authorities have charged Adalberto Fructuoso Comparan-Rodriguez, a/k/a "Fruto," 57, who is the former mayor of Aguililla, Mexico and, according to the allegations, the leader of the United Cartels in Michoacán, Mexico, with drug trafficking crimes.
Officials said the defendants are charged with drug conspiracy, drug trafficking, drug importation, and other crimes.
Alfonso Rustrian, 34, of Mexico, has also been charged as a coconspirator.
Both Comparan-Rodriguez and Rustrian were arrested in Guatemala on March 30, 2021.
A second criminal complaint charges another four defendants for their roles in the alleged methamphetamine scheme.
The defendants made their initial appearances and are scheduled for detention hearings in federal magistrate court in Miami on April 7, 2021.
"These significant arrests and drug seizures of crystal methamphetamine should serve notice that the United States, working hand-in-hand with our international partners, will not stop until drug traffickers at the highest levels are brought to justice," said Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Juan Antonio Gonzalez. "We will continue to work with our foreign and domestic partners to keep these poisonous substances from reaching our streets."
"As the threat of methamphetamine continues to grow in Florida, this was yet another brazen attempt by a highly organized and dangerous foreign criminal group to set up a significant methamphetamine pipeline from Mexico directly into the Miami Metro Area." said DEA's Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis. "Fortunately, our dedicated foreign and domestic investigators and prosecutors from numerous agencies, interdicted this effort by making record seizures of an extremely hazardous narcotic while simultaneously removing the primary leadership."
Authorities said the drug was hidden inside concrete tiles and dissolved within five-gallon buckets of house paint.
This investigation and prosecution was carried out by members of the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force.
Officials said the drugs never hit the streets.
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