ST. LOUIS – A year-long operation targeting Mexican drug cartels moving fentanyl and methamphetamine into communities across the country resulted in thousands of arrests and the seizure of more than $100 million in assets, the Drug Enforcement Administration said Monday.
The DEA claims the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels are responsible for flooding communities across the country with meth and fentanyl, using both social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, and TikTok, as well as encrypted platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal, to coordinate logistics of deliveries and reach victims.
The DEA St. Louis Division, which covers Missouri, Kansas, and southern Illinois, recorded 72 arrests, the seizure of more than 1.3 million fentanyl pills, 100 pounds of fentanyl powder, more than 200 pounds of methamphetamine, over 400 guns, nearly half-a-million dollars in assets.
Between May 1, 2022, and May 1, 2023, the DEA conducted more than 1,400 investigations with the help of federal, state, and local authorities, under the name Operation Last Mile.
The collective effort resulted in 3,337 arrests, and the seizure of nearly 44 million fentanyl pills, more than 6,500 pounds of fentanyl powder, more than 91,000 pounds of methamphetamine, 8,497 firearms, and more than $100 million.
According to the DEA, the fentanyl powder and pills equals approximately 193 million lethal doses.