134 Pounds of meth seized in Phoenix; 3 suspects arrested

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The following is a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice -- Drug Enforcement Administration:

Phoenix -- On August 22, 2008, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in conjunction with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Contraband Smuggling Unit arrested 3 individuals and seized 134 pounds of "Ice" Methamphetamine and 4 kilograms of cocaine making it one of the state's largest methamphetamine seizures.

The investigation targeted a major Mexican drug trafficking organization that smuggled cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana through Arizona for further distribution throughout the United States. On August 22, DEA and ICE agents executed a takedown on key members of the organization when they were observed moving the drugs from a one stash house to another in Phoenix.

The estimated retail (street) value of the methamphetamine is more than $4.8 million dollars

DEA Special Agent in Charge Elizabeth W. Kempshall said, "Today's operation is a major strike against the Mexican drug cartels that have made Phoenix Metropolitan area a primary hub of drug distribution. We have removed more than 4.8 million dollars of filthy money from these traffickers and have taken hundreds of pounds of dangerous drugs off our streets. These criminal organizations that prey upon the weak and addicted should know that the law enforcement partnerships in Phoenix are solid, strong and will be fighting you everyday to keep our communities and our citizens safe."

Crystal methamphetamine, known as "ice," is a highly addictive form of methamphetamine, a stimulant. On the illicit market it is sold in small, inexpensive dosage units that are smoked or injected. Smoking delivers large quantities of methamphetamine to the lungs, producing effects comparable to intravenous injection; these effects are almost immediate after smoking and very intense. "Ice" abuse also results in hallucinations and paranoia.

SAC Kempshall credited the cooperation of ICE and the Phoenix Police Department.