Atlanta operation of Mexican drug cartel busted
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Drug Enforcement Administration said Thursday it has wrapped up an operation aimed at shutting down an alleged Atlanta-based hub of a major Mexican drug cartel.
According to federal authorities, 28 people were arrested Wednesday and Thursday and agents seized over $8 million in cash, 40 pounds of methamphetamine and more than 592 kilos of cocaine. Officials said they also uncovered a meth lab in Atlanta.
DEA: 28 arrested
A DEA press release said the 28 people taken into custody as part of Operation Long Whine are charged with conspiracy and with distribution of methamphetamine and cocaine. Five suspects remain at large, including one known as "Gotti", who the DEA alleges "coordinated the receipt and distribution of drugs from Mexico to Atlanta."
According to federal officials "Gotti" also organized collections of proceeds from drug sales throughout the East Coast and how the money would be sent to Mexico.
Operation Long Whine focused on the financing behind the drug trade, said DEA Administrator Karen Tandy.
"To decimate the drug trade, we are following drug money back to its source, targeting the laundering networks, and eliminating profits that fuel drug gangs," she said.
The alleged drug ring is believed responsible for moving more than 100 kilograms of cocaine each week and sometimes used vehicles with false compartments to conceal drugs. In one instance, the DEA said, the group used a tractor-trailer hauling pork shoulders in an effort to evade detection as it transported a large quantity of cash.
From CNN Senior Producer Carol Cratty
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