Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced the arrests of 203 people in 38 cities, with a focus on the major rings in the cities of Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle. It was the largest ever sweep against a Mexican drug organization by US law enforcement The New York Times reports. The Justice Department conducted raids this week in 19 states which weakened one of Mexico’s most ruthless drug cartels, La Familia Michoacana.
The arrests are the culmination of a four-year long investigation of La Familia Michoacana, a violent cartel that operates mainly in central Mexico and is known for their methods of terrorizing and torturing their enemies. The cult-like organization is notorious for beheading its victims, including police officers, and leaving their bodies or heads in public places along with cryptic messages with religious undertones. They traffic mostly in methamphetamines.
Law enforcement officials believe this crackdown will be a major blow to La Familia as a distribution network, since they were responsible for the transport of methamphetamine and coke to major cities in the U.S.
“The sheer level and depravity of violence that this cartel has exhibited far exceeds what we, unfortunately, have become accustomed to from other cartels,” Attorney General Holder said. “While this cartel may operate from Mexico, the toxic reach of its operations extends to nearly every state within our country.”