SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Nearly two dozen people were arrested and hundreds of pounds of illegal drugs seized in the break-up of a cross-border drug trafficking ring with direct ties to a violent Mexican drug cartel, authorities in San Diego announced Monday.
The ring was transporting large amounts of methamphetamine and other controlled substances into San Diego County for distribution across the southeastern United States, said William R. Sherman, acting special agent-in-charge of the San Diego branch of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
"When you take the arrests made here in San Diego and couple them with the coordinated nationwide effort this week against this violent organization, you see that we have disrupted their whole distribution chain, from the street seller to the middle man to the leaders of the organization in Mexico," Sherman said.
Drugs seized during the operation include more than 200 pounds of meth, nearly 200 pounds of marijuana, one pound of cocaine and three pounds of heroin, the DEA reported.
The San Diego County District Attorney's Office has filed charges against 12 defendants -- possession of methamphetamine for sale, transportation of meth and employing a minor to carry a controlled substance.
The U.S. Attorney's Office is also prosecuting defendants arrested as part of the takedown.
The 23 arrests are part of a larger, national DEA takedown dubbed "Project Delirium."
The 15-month-long investigation targeted major Mexican drug trafficking organizations with significant links to La Familia Michoacana, a violent Mexican drug cartel based in Michoacan, Mexico, according to authorities.
Across the country, 1,980 arrests were made and authorities seized $60 million in cash, about 2,770 pounds of methamphetamine, nearly 6,000 pounds of cocaine, 1,000 pounds of heroin, 14,000 pounds of marijuana and $3.8 million in other assets.