Tempe police, DEA dismantle drug-trafficking organization

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Officials from the Tempe Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency said they have dismantled an extensive drug-trafficking cell tied to the Sinaloa cartel.

Authorities arrested 203 people and seized an estimated $12 million in illegal drugs and another $7.8 million in cash during the 15-month investigation dubbed Operation Crank Call.

"It is, frankly an obscene amount of drugs and money that have been taken off the streets, and those numbers reflect the horrific scope of the drug trafficking problem in our community," said Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne in a news release.

The investigation began when a Tempe police officer pulled over a man after seeing a drug deal. The man was later identified as a delivery driver for the drug ring. He reportedly delivered methamphetamine to various customers in the Phoenix metro area.

Further investigation led authorities to local drug dealers throughout the Valley.