(Omaha, NE) -- The U.S Drug Enforcement Administration says two cartels are largely responsible for the distribution of fentanyl and other opiates in North Dakota and other states.
A representative from the DEA tells us Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota linked 26 investigations to the Sinaloa and the Jalisco Cartels. The representative says both powder and pill drug seizures have exponentially increased, with methamphetamine seizures increasing by 55% between 2018 and 2022. The DEA's Omaha Division investigators efforts have led to 86 arrests and 60 firearms seizures connected to the two organizations. This is all revealed as a part of Operation Last Mile, a national investigation which is looking to gleam the sources of the large quantities of illicit substances within the United States.
“Drug trafficking is a violent activity that threatens our Midwestern communities on a daily basis,” DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Justin C. King said. “The news is full of stories detailing the number of lives lost to drug poisonings and violent acts that came as a direct result of drug trafficking. These crimes, perpetuated by the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels, are not victimless as evident by the tragic loss of life to toxic substances being pushed into our neighborhoods.”
The representative says tactics used by the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels include utilizing local street gangs and violent local groups, flooding communities with illicit substances to increase the dependance on the addictive drugs. They will further coordinate the purchases on social media apps like Facebook, TikTock, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Wire, and Wickr to communicate to buyers and coordinate within their organizations. The DEA representative says these tactics bring drugs into communities across the U.S, increase addiction to illicit substances, and kill Americans. Further investigations into drug trafficking efforts across the nation are ongoing.
A link to the full release can be found by clicking here.