The Drug Enforcement Agency announced a new nationwide operation Thursday aimed at cracking down on methamphetamine.
Operation Crystal Shield will concentrate efforts on the eight major transportation hubs where the DEA says meth is often trafficked in bulk and then distributed. Those areas were identified as Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix, and St. Louis.
The DEA cited a 430% rise in seizures from 2018 to 2019 in the Dallas Field Division, which includes North Texas and Oklahoma.
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“Dallas is, unfortunately, a perfect geographic hub that’s far enough away from the U.S.-Mexico border to maybe have a false sense of security,” said DEA Special Agent Eduardo Chavez, who leads the Dallas Field Division.
According to Chavez, the majority of meth in the United States is coming from Mexico, where the supply remains plentiful.
“When you have that increased supply, price tends to go down and perhaps for somebody who unfortunately is addicted to controlled substances it might be an appealing alternative for something they were priced out of,” Chavez said.
The DEA plans to spend $1 million on operations targeting meth distribution this year, according to Chavez.