“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat

A three-year investigation culminated Thursday with the announcement that more than 150 people have been charged and drugs seized after local, state, and federal authorities targeted the Sinaloa drug cartel.

The results of the investigation were announced in Tempe.

“Our mission to reduce the supply and demand of illegal drugs within the city of Tempe would not be successful without the collaboration and, more specifically, the hard work and dedication of our detectives, special agents and professional staff,” said interim Tempe Police Chief Josie Montenegro.

That work, officials said, led to arrests and the seizure of more than 4.5 million fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills, 66 kilograms of fentanyl powder, 138 kilograms of cocaine, 3,100 pounds of methamphetamine, 35 kilograms of heroin, 49 firearms and more than $2 million dollars.

The narcotics seized in the investigation is valued at over $13 million, authorities said.

“The fentanyl seized represents more than 30 million potentially lethal doses,” they said in a release.

“This investigation is part of DEA’s work in defeating the criminal drug cartels, Sinaloa and Jalisco, who continue to drive addiction and drug poisonings in communities nationwide, threatening the safety and health of Americans. 

The Sinaloa Cartel is responsible for nearly all deadly narcotics flooding into Arizona, according to officials.

“DEA Arizona is laser focused on the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. We will not stop,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Cheri Oz. “This investigation is a testament to our strong partnerships, which enable us to gain the necessary advantage over these evil criminal networks.”

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said: “There are few families in our state and across our country that haven’t been touched in some way by the scourge of the opioid epidemic and fentanyl crisis.

“I am very proud of our agents’ work and am grateful for our strong partnerships with other law enforcement agencies. Getting these drugs off the street will undoubtedly save lives.”

Daily Independent