More than 300 reputed members of the La Familia drug cartel were arrested in the past two days as part of an international investigation targeting what Justice Department officials call an upstart and violent organization that has spread rapidly in the United States.
Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said today at a press conference that federal authorities have seized more than $32 million during the 44-month investigation of the cartel, which has been operating since 2006.
DEA officials said La Familia, active in cities that include Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta, specializes in the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. Members of the cartel “hid behind a shield of ideology,” FBI Director Robert Mueller said.
Holder called the federal government’s effort targeting the cartel resulted in a “mammoth takedown.”
“We will not allow these cartels to operate unfettered in our country, and with the increases in cooperation between U.S. and Mexican authorities in recent years, we are taking the fight to our adversaries,” Holder said in remarks delivered this morning at Main Justice.
Charges against alleged cartel members were unsealed yesterday and today in federal districts courts in states that include California, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Georgia and Minnesota.