DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The Drug Enforcement Administration has announced a new effort to crack down on major methamphetamine "transportation hubs" around the U.S., including the Dallas area.
Officials said Thursday that the goal of "Operation Crystal Shield" will be to increase enforcement resources to eight areas that have been known for high volumes of meth trafficking. The effort will look to decrease distribution within those cities and their neighborhoods.
Those eight cities are: Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix and St. Louis. Officials said about 75% of the meth seized in 2019 came those field divisions.
"For decades, methamphetamine has been a leading cause of violence and addiction – a drug threat that has never gone away," DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said. "With a 22 percent increase in methamphetamine-related overdose deaths, now is the time to act, and DEA is leading the way with a surge of interdiction efforts and resources, targeting regional transportation hubs throughout the United States. By reducing the supply of meth, we reduce the violence, addiction, and death it spreads."
Officials said this operation will be in addition to the administration's continued efforts to stop smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border.
In this announcement, Eduardo A. Chavez, special agent in charge at the DEA Dallas field division, revealed there was a 430% increase in seizures of meth in his division, which includes North Texas and Oklahoma, from 2018 to 2019.
"This staggering number reflects both the threat we face and the resolve of the DEA to keep methamphetamine out of our neighborhoods. With our nationwide, concerted effort through Operation Crystal Shield, we will be partnering with other DEA offices across the globe to identify those transportation networks and command structures to ensure their greed is met with swift justice," Chavez said.
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