JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Mexican Navy helped the Drug Enforcement Administration seize 2.5 tons of meth and 100,000 fentanyl pills that were on the way to the United States.
According to the Jacksonville District Office of the DEA, the narcotics, worth about $90 million, came from the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico and were heading to the U.S. by boat when the Mexican Navy, working with DEA, intercepted the boat.
Two Mexican nationals are now facing U.S. federal charges of conspiracy to import tons of illegal narcotics into the U.S.
Jacksonville DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Mike Dubet said that had the narcotics made their way into the U.S. by way of the Gulf of California, they would have been delivered to various distribution hubs across the country, including Atlanta, where members of the Sinaloa cartel are known to distribute large quantities of meth and fentanyl into Northeast Florida.
“Let’s say if 10% of that went to Atlanta, which would be about 500 pounds, and then you take 1% of that shipment coming to Jacksonville, it’s 50 pounds of meth,” Dubet said. “Fifty pounds of meth to the Jacksonville area would supply not only Jacksonville but the surrounding counties for several weeks.”
That meth and fentanyl could lead to potentially fatal overdoses. Around this time last year, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department reported a 20% spike in overdoses that carried into the month of March.
“Traffickers see opportunities when drug overdoses rise and they are trying to flood American markets with synthetic, highly addictive and dangerous drugs,” said New York DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan.
Large amounts of narcotics also play a role in violent crimes.
“Whenever you have large amounts of money and people fighting for territory, that’s where the violence comes out,” Dubet said.
If convicted, the two Mexican nationals face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in U.S. federal prison.