When the DEA Busted Up La Familia, They Hauled In Plenty of Guns, Drugs and Dough

Categories: Crime
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Photos by Kimberly Thorpe
You're looking at 220 pounds of methamphetamine, 4.5 kilos of cocaine and $660,000 in cash; you'll have to look at our slide show to see the assortment of machine guns hauled in. The whole stash was seized in North Texas yesterday from more than 80 members of a violent Mexican drug cartel known as La Familia.

A little while ago, federal, state and local authorities stood behind the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Dallas Division, James Capra, as he commended the various agencies for working together in Project Coronado, part of a national effort to put down La Familia.

"I'm here to tell you what they are," said Capra. "Just a group of drug-trafficking thugs who profit off the backs of addiction." According to the feds, some of those arrested this week "used stash houses to store the drugs and cash proceeds and acted as intermediaries and brokers to negotiate the acquisition, price, delivery and payment. They used vehicles to transport the drug proceeds to Michoacan, to pay for the methamphetamine and cocaine shipments, secreting the proceeds in false compartments, gas tanks or other containers in the vehicles."

Across the country, more than 1,100 people have been arrested during the operation -- 84 of them in and around Dallas, which, of course, is a major hub for the distribution of drugs coming up from Mexico. The various agencies represented at today's press conference -- an alphabet soup that included the FBI, the I.R.S., the U.S. Secret Service and Texas Air National Guard -- touted the recent success as evidence that the agencies were catching up with the drug cartels.

"Obviously, what happens in Mexico doesn't stay in Mexico," said Steve McCraw, director of Texas Department of Public Safety. The Official Word follows -- jump for it. Or else. Project Coronado Indictments Defendants Summary Revised

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