Feds Announce (Another) Local Meth Bust Involving Members of La Familia Drug Cartel

Categories: Crime
MethandMoney.jpg
A fraction of a fraction of the meth and money seized by local law enforcement during their 2009 La Familia bust-up
In October of 2009, James Capra, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Dallas Division, invited media to a press conference so he could show off the massive haul from a long-in-the-works bust involving the Mexican drug cartel known as La Familia: 220 pounds of methamphetamine, 4.5 kilos of cocaine, $660,000 in cash and dozens of machine guns. The feds and other law-enforcement officials said they'd nabbed some 1,100 people around the country during an operation known as Project Coronado; 84 of them were taken into custody in and around Dallas, a major distribution hub for drugs brought in from Mexico -- Michoacan, specifically, La Familia's home base. Six months later, Ricardo Hernandez-Cruz, a.k.a "Rica," a 37-year-old who handled the merch, pleaded guilty to meth trafficking.

Since then La Familia, which, per Time, attempts to mask its infamous, well-documented brutality behind quasi-religious camouflage, has overhauled its operations, at least from the looks of the latest heads-up from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

A Dallas federal grand jury this week indicted 16 more members of La Familia, all of whom were arrested December 14 in Tyler and Dallas. Some were nabbed in rural Tyler, at the so-called "ranch" of Sergio Renteria Echeverria, otherwise known as "Trippa," the 30-year-old who Capra and U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña say is the "cell-head" who "concealed large amounts of drugs" on the premises. They also say he maintains another residence in Richardson, on Midway Drive, which the feds will seize if he's convicted.

This time around, authorities say they got about $700,000 in cash, 20 pounds of meth, one kilo of cocaine and 70 firearms. They also discovered a meth conversion lab in Duncanville. It's not just shipping the drugs to Dallas-Fort Worth; La Familia is now manufacturing them locally.

According to the government, this investigation into La Familia's doings on U.S. soil has been going on since '06; that '09 bust was part of that. But it's like cutting off the head of a hyrda:
While the LFM cartel itself is based in Michoacan, the investigation identified several LFM distribution cells throughout North Texas. Intelligence obtained from the investigation revealed that after leaders of the LFM were arrested, replacement leaders, or "cell-head leaders" were assigned to continue the distribution of narcotics in the Dallas area and to other parts of the U.S.

Since the LFM Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation began, agents with DEA Dallas have arrested more than 100 defendants on federal charges and seized approximately $7.6 million in cash and assets, approximately 900 kilograms of methamphetamine, more than 85 kilograms of cocaine, approximately one kilogram of heroin and numerous firearms.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
6 comments
orionp3
orionp3

You have to wonder how much of what has been seized makes it back to the evidence locker?

Shawn
Shawn

Legalize drugs, tax them, use the billions we're now spending on enforcement on treatment instead.  We'll save money, have greater tax revenues, and less violence.  Prohibition didn't work the first time around; why do we think it would work the second time?

Jd
Jd

Its illegal to own a machine gun. La Familia should know that.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

I dont think legalizing meth is such a good idea, if you think so, google faces of meth.  I dont want to live in a world of meth heads

Nikisunshine
Nikisunshine

Suggesting that once it's legal everyone will use is a fallacy. Lima beans are legal and I don't use them :) Seriously, I'm with Shawn above. People will use regardless of legality and continued prohibition is only making gangs richer and better equipped. The cartels in Mexico are better financed than some armies. Surely the money is better spent on getting people the help they need instead of continuing to put money in gangs' pockets.

Tophermusic
Tophermusic

last time i checked, lima beans aren't addictive...

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...