Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday announced the arrest of more than 2,200 individuals on drug-related charges in the United States and the seizure of more than 74.1 tons of illegal drugs as part of a 22-month multi-agency law enforcement investigation known as Project Deliverance.
“This interagency, cross-border operation has been our most extensive, and most successful, law enforcement effort to date targeting these deadly cartels, and it is a direct result of our ongoing Southwest Border Strategy,” Holder said.
This successful operation is only one battle in an ongoing war, and together with law enforcement and international partners, the Obama administration is committed to defeating these cartels, he said.
Summing it up, Project Deliverance has led to the arrest of 2,266 individuals and the seizure of approximately $154 million in U.S. currency and approximately 1,262 pounds of methamphetamine, 2.5 tons of cocaine, 1,410 pounds of heroin, 69 tons of marijuana, 501 weapons and 527 vehicles.
“Project Deliverance inflicted a debilitating blow to the network of shadow facilitators and transportation cells controlled by the major Mexican drug cartels,” said Drug Enforcement Administration’s Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “Deliverance continues a deliberate and strategic effort to cut off and shut down the supply of drugs entering our country, and the flow of drug profits and guns to Mexico. The stakes are extraordinarily high, and this massive operation is a milestone in our tireless assault on these violent drug cartels.”
Violent drug distribution networks along the southwest border pose a threat to U.S. border security and citizens of this nation, said FBI Assistant Director Kevin L. Perkins. By combining resources through operations like Project Deliverance, the law enforcement community will continue to disrupt and dismantle drug distribution networks and jail those involved in the transportation of these drugs, he said.
This coordinated effort was announced in March 2009 as part of the Southwest Border Strategy, which uses federal prosecutor-led task forces that bring together federal, state, and local law enforcement components to identify, disrupt and break up Mexican drug cartels through investigation, prosecution and extradition of their key leaders and facilitators and seizure and forfeiture of their assets.