JUNE 18, 2014
Nearly one ton of marijuana, weapons, cars and cash seized
Sheriff’s deputies, federal agents in ongoing investigation of Valley wide narcotics business run by Mexican Drug Cartel
PHOENIX – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says his deputies, working in coordination with multiple federal and local enforcement agencies, seized 1710 pounds of marijuana, 15 weapons including automatic assault rifles, $66,000 cash and several vehicles from six locations all as part of an ongoing investigation targeting an illegal narcotics enterprise operating in the Phoenix metro area.
Sheriff Arpaio says the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement strike force, which includes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), identified six locations throughout the Valley as cells operating under the direction of a ‘Mexican source of supply.’
“All the narcotics seized and all the high velocity fire power points to the fact that this enterprise is a very dangerous group of drug traffickers operating in our community. They needed a law enforcement intervention and that’s exactly what they got,” Arpaio says.
The Phoenix head of the HSI strike force credits the joint effort of federal and local law enforcement for today’s successful bust.
“Through our collaborative efforts with state and local law enforcement, we’ve succeeded in striking a significant blow against a large-scale marijuana trafficking organization suspected of using Phoenix as a distribution center,” said Lon D. Weigand, acting deputy special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations Phoenix. “The success of the enforcement action is a direct result of the extraordinary support we received from local law enforcement partners and our joint efforts to dismantle this criminal organization are very much ongoing.”
Search warrants were executed at the six locations which were being used both as residences and stash houses. The enforcement action resulted in the arrest of seven (7) individuals suspected of being participants in the criminal enterprise and will face a grand jury June 19, 2014.