Attorney General William Barr and Drug Enforcement Agency Acting Administrator Timothy Shea announced Thursday that a U.S. counternarcotics operation dubbed “Crystal Shield” has led to the seizure of nearly 29,000 pounds of methamphetamine trafficked by Mexican drug cartels.
The operation began in February 2020 and focused on drug networks in Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix, San Diego, and St. Louis, where methamphetamine is regularly trafficked.
“Methamphetamine is a brutal drug linked to violent crime and responsible for far too many fatal overdoses,” said Attorney General Barr. “The astounding results of Operation Crystal Shield clearly demonstrate the commitment by the DEA and our state and local partners to prevent this deadly drug from reaching the streets of our communities. Prosecuting individuals who traffic these poisons remains a top priority for President Trump and the entire Department of Justice.”
The announcement comes amid a drug epidemic that has worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic as overdoses surge in many states where strict lockdowns have been imposed. For drug cartels and trafficking networks, it was a crisis to exploit. Sara A. Carter produced “Not in Vein” in 2018 to highlight the cartels’ complex drug trafficking networks in the United States. Click here to watch the film.
“In the months leading up to the launch of Operation Crystal Shield, communities across the United States experienced a surge of methamphetamine,” said Acting Administrator Shea.
He added, “The COVID pandemic locked down many communities and impacted legitimate businesses, but the drug trade continued. Under difficult conditions, DEA – along with our federal, state, and local partners – never stopped working as we helped stem the flow of methamphetamine onto our streets, even as violent drug traffickers sought new ways to smuggle it into the United States. The success of Operation Crystal Shield reflects the devotion of DEA and our partners to protect our communities from the scourge of drug trafficking and violent crime under any circumstances.”
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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
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