According to Jones, the Mexican drug cartels recently transitioned into methamphetamine in response to policy changes that made it harder for people to get into the country at the southwest border. At U.S. ports of entry, border protection agents had already seized more than 118,000 pounds of meth by July, and the year is not over yet. To put that number in perspective, the total for all of 2019, which was a record-setting year, was 68,000.
The DEA and DOJ put Operation Crystal Shield and Project Python into place to target major drug trafficking networks. Six months into Operation Crystal Shield, more than 7,000 people had been arrested and more than 20,000 kilograms of drugs had been seized, including more than 15,000 kilograms of meth, plus more than $20 million in cash.
This February, 1,500 pounds of liquid meth were seized at a Texas border crossing in a huge seizure that more than tripled the total seized at all El Paso area ports in 2019. Its street value may have exceeded $102 million.
Unfortunately, the Mexican drug cartels are working with corrupt high-level Mexican government officials who allow their profitable trade to continue. This is according to retired DEA Agent Terry Cole, who said that U.S. law enforcement tried to share intelligence on labs with the Mexican government, but they refused to take action.
This is a problem that is killing Americans en masse. In 2017, more than 70,000 Americans died of overdoses, 10,000 of which were from meth. In 2018, a similar number died from drug overdoses. This can be fixed by going after these cartels and their labs, and Jones says it is essential that the government pursues them urgently and comprehensively.
Cartels like the Jalisco Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel have started to produce incredible amounts of meth inside Mexico, with some of them manufacturing as much as seven tons of the drug every three days.
Although meth is not killing as many Americans as fentanyl, experts like former DEA Special Operations Division head Derek Maltz believe it is causing even bigger problems. Mexican cartels are also buying drugs like fentanyl directly from China. And while the DEA has plenty of Spanish-speaking informants and undercover agents, they do not have as many agents who are able to speak ethnic Chinese languages, allowing these traffickers to escape detection.
Maltz told One News Now: “America is a big adversary to China, so it’s not far-fetched to think the Chinese are purposely killing Americans and making millions of dollars while doing it.” The fact that these drugs are destroying American communities and families is just icing on the cake to these people.
With CDC data showing that deaths involving meth in the year from May 2018 to May 2019 were 25 percent higher than the year before, it is clear that something needs to be done to stem this growing problem. In a 2017 survey, 55 percent of law enforcement officers identified meth as the biggest drug threat to their area, with a majority saying it contributed to violent crime and property crime.
Unfortunately, the growing anti-police sentiment and related budget cuts may only make this problem worse. Captain Art Nakamura of the Drugs & Vice division of the Portland Police Bureau told U.S. News last year that a nationwide decline in recruiting and retaining law enforcement officers was making it hard to stop the proliferation of meth, so it is very disturbing to imagine what this situation will look like when all those police budget cuts liberal cities are demanding start taking effect.
Sources for this article include: