The Mexican government announced that security operations led by La Secretaría de Marina or the Mexican Navy (SEMAR) located and dismantled 31 drug labs in the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa since December 1, of 2018. The state of Sinaloa is the home base for the Sinaloa Cartel also known as the Sinaloa Federation. The cartel continues to have the largest operational footprint throughout the United States and worldwide despite the capture and imprisonment of notorious cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.
Military operations leading to the discovery of the drug-labs resulted from intelligence gathering and subsequent follow up in the field by operational elements, according to a statement released by military officials and provided to local media. Officials targeted the state of Sinaloa for the operation because it is known to be a home base for the production and distribution of synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine and fentanyl.
The discovery of the labs resulted in the seizure of 15,500 kilograms (34,171 pounds) of methamphetamine in solid form, 41,200 liters of methamphetamine in liquid form, 49,300 liters of chemical precursors or waste material used to produce synthetic drugs, and drug lab equipment. All drugs and precursors, as well and lab equipment, were incinerated at the locations where they were discovered.
Military officials emphasized that the significant seizures will have an effect on the financial and operational structure of the criminal groups operating in this region. These groups are responsible for the large-scale distribution of methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, crystal, heroin, and fentanyl to the United States and other destinations around the world. Also, Breitbart local law enforcement contacts attributed the fight for street-level sales of methamphetamine and for most of the street level gang killings that have engulfed the country to these groups.
Breitbart News reported extensively on the shocking levels of killings occurring throughout the country that are primarily attributed to narco-wars. A recent report released by a non-government agency which ranks the 50 deadliest cities in the world listed five Mexican municipalities in the top six and nine of the top 20 in the world. The Tijuana metropolitan area was listed at number one with 2,640 homicides in 2018. This reflects a rate of 138 per 100,000 population
The dismantling of the drug labs by Mexican Navy personnel will also reduce environmental pollution. Drug cartels are known to dump waste material used for the production of synthetic drugs into rivers and streams damaging the ecosystem according to a government statement.
Breitbart News reports extensively on large seizures by Mexican authorities and their U.S. counterparts along the California, Arizona, and Texas borders. Recently, Mexican federal police seized more than 550 pounds of methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl near San Luis, Arizona, after a short pursuit. The smugglers were able to flee without being arrested. Breitbart News also reported on the seizure by Mexican law enforcement officials of more than two tons of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana during separate security operations in the border states of Sonora and Baja California recently. Another report discussed the seizure of nearly a half-ton of methamphetamine by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Pharr International Bridge in Texas.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at [email protected].