’Operation Crystal Shield’ targets methamphetamine hubs including New Orleans

Published: Feb. 28, 2020 at 9:33 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Drug enforcement agents focus their efforts on methamphetamine transportation hubs across the U.S.

“It’s an attack on the threat of the methamphetamine in the United States,” says Special Agent-in-charge, Brad Byerley.

It’s called ‘Operation Crystal Shield’. The DEA recently identified eight major methamphetamine transportation hubs in the U.S. They are Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, St. Louis and New Orleans.

“We realized the drugs were being made by the Mexican cartels in these industrial labs in Mexico, and it’s being shipped across the southwest border,” says Byerley.

From there, DEA Special Agent-In-Charge Brad Byerley, says the drugs go through transportation hubs in the U.S. where DEA agents are busting them.

“So, the New Orleans field division makes up four states, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. Just in the last six months, we seized 848 pounds of methamphetamine,” says Byerley.

Byerley says the meth is coming in several forms from crystals, to powder to liquid.

“What you’re seeing a lot, especially in the Southeast where they’re taking from a liquid to a solid,” says Byerley.

Along with meth, Byerley says, comes violence and guns are being seized too.

“We’ve enhanced our enforcement efforts. We’ve added more people here in New Orleans. We’ve created throughout the division several groups that are focused on seizing methamphetamine,” says Byerley.

Besides the violence, Byerley points to the dangers of the drug itself and how it’s effecting communities. He says the Mexican cartels do not care about what meth is doing to the people of the United States.

“They realize there’s a demand for it in our country because our country is facing a drug addicting epidemic. We’re losing 193 people per day to drug overdose, so we’re doing what we do best, and that’s the disruption and dismantlement of these drug trafficking organizations,” says Byerley.

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