More than 300 arrested in over two days after US drug operation

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Friday, October 23, 2009

The US Justice Department said on Thursday more than 300 people have been arrested in the United States over the past two days, as part of a massive operation targeting the La Familia Mexican drug cartel.

Seal of United States Department of Justice

Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters on Thursday that the recent arrests are part of a 44-month, multi-agency law enforcement investigation known as Project Coronado. Holder called the operation the largest coordinated US law enforcement operation ever undertaken against a Mexican drug cartel. He added that the reach of the cartel stretches well into the US.

This operation has dealt a significant blow to La Familia's supply chain of illegal drugs...

—Attorney General Eric Holder

"This operation has dealt a significant blow to La Familia's supply chain of illegal drugs, weapons, and cash flowing between Mexico and the United States," said Holder.

According to Holder, the authorities seized 109 vehicles, 144 weapons, an unconfirmed quantity of methamphetamine, 137 pounds (62 kilograms) of cocaine, 967 pounds (439 kilograms) of marijuana, and US$3.4 million in cash after the raids. "These are drugs that were headed for our streets, and weapons that often were headed for the streets of Mexico," noted Holder.

The Attorney General described the cartel as the "most violent" of the Mexico drug cartels.

Thousands of people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico in recent years.