Trump Takes Down Notorious Mexican Cartel with 600 Arrests: 'Just the Beginning'
Feds strike Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación - most notorious drug cartel in Mexico
President Donald Trump's administration has just dealt an unprecedented blow to the most notorious drug cartel in Mexico, with a huge strike that saw over 600 members arrested by federal agents.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the results of an interagency operation cracking down on Mexican cartel activity on Wednesday.
The DEA-led initiative, targeting members of Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), was dubbed “Project Python” by officials.
Over the last six months, federal law enforcement officials have been monitoring the activities of the accused, according to the DEA.
The operation has netted over 600 arrests nationwide, 350 indictments, and “significant seizures of money and drugs,” the agencies revealed.
“Project Python marks the most comprehensive action to date in the Department of Justice’s campaign to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately destroy CJNG,” Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski said in a statement.
Benczkowski cited an executive order President Trump passed shortly after his inauguration in 2017.
The order condemned cartel operations in the United States and directed federal law enforcement to use the Threat Mitigation Working Group, which was put in place by the Obama administration in 2011.
“When President Trump signed an Executive Order prioritizing the dismantlement of transnational criminal organizations, the Department of Justice answered the call and took direct aim at CJNG," he said.
"We deemed CJNG one of the highest-priority transnational organized crime threats we face.
"And with Project Python, we are delivering results in the face of that threat for the American people.”
President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13773 instructed federal officials to identify, interdict, disrupt, and dismantle drug cartels, which has been a top priority of Trump’s.
The 2019 DEA National Drug Threat Assessment reported the following about CJNG:
CJNG, based in the city of Guadalajara in the Mexican State of Jalisco, is the most recently formed of the six TCOs.
With drug distribution hubs in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta, it is one of the most powerful and fastest growing cartels in Mexico and the United States.
CJNG smuggles illicit drugs into the United States by accessing various trafficking corridors along the SWB including Tijuana, Juarez, and Nuevo Laredo.
CJNG’s rapid expansion of its drug trafficking activities is characterized by the willingness to engage in violent confrontations with Mexican Government security forces and rival cartels.
Like most major Mexican TCOs, CJNG is a poly-drug trafficking group, manufacturing and/or distributing large amounts of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.
CJNG reportedly has presence in at least 24 of 32 Mexican states.
“Project Python is the single largest strike by U.S. authorities against CJNG, and this is just the beginning,” Acting DEA Administrator Uttam Dhillon said during the press conference.
“This strategic and coordinated project exemplifies DEA’s mission: to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy drug trafficking organizations around the world and bring their leaders to justice.
"Today, DEA has disrupted CJNG’s operations, and there is more to come as DEA continues its relentless attack on this remorseless criminal organization.”