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US-Mexico anti-drug effort nets 2,200 arrests: officials
06-11-2010, 12:30 PM
Post: #1
US-Mexico anti-drug effort nets 2,200 arrests: officials
(AFP) – 17 hours ago
WASHINGTON — Some 2,200 people have been arrested in a wide-ranging US-Mexico operation against violent drug gangs, including 429 this week, US officials announced Thursday.
US Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference that the latest arrests in the massive crack-down, dubbed Project Deliverance, came Wednesday, and marked a milestone in the massive, two-year operation.
"This interagency, cross-border operation has been our most extensive, and most successful, law enforcement effort to date targeting these deadly cartels," said Holder, who said the operation had led to 2,266 arrests in the past 22 months.
"This successful operation, however, is just one battle in an ongoing war. So long as cartels and smugglers attempt to wreak havoc on our borders, we will continue to target them with every resource available to the federal government."
Michele Leonhart, acting director of the US Drug Enforcement Agency who joined Holder at the press event, said that Project Deliverance also had led to the seizure of some 74.1 tonnes of illegal drugs, millions of dollars in cash, and some 85 vehicles.
"Project Deliverance inflicted a debilitating blow to the network of shadow facilitators and transportation cells controlled by the major Mexican drug cartels," Leonhart said.
"Deliverance continues a deliberate and strategic effort to cut off and shut down the supply of drugs entering our country, and the flow of drug profits and guns to Mexico. The stakes are extraordinarily high, and this massive operation is a milestone in our tireless assault on these violent drug cartels," she said.
Wednesday's arrests, which were carried out in 15 states, targeted the transportation infrastructure of Mexican drug trafficking organizations in the United States, especially along the southwest US border.
US President Barack Obama just last month promised his Mexican counterpart Felipe Calderon to do more to fight illegal drugs and weapons contraband on the border, where Obama recently promised to deploy some 1,200 more troops.
Drug violence in Mexico has exploded since a government crackdown at the end of 2006, leading to nearly 23,000 deaths and threatening to spill over into the United States.
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