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Busts net 57 in illegal methamphetamine trade

December 5, 1997
Web posted at: 11:19 p.m. EST (0419 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A coordinated bust of methamphetamine labs in California, Texas and North Carolina has inflicted "a significant dent" in the illegal drug trade, according to federal law enforcement officials.

Fifty-seven people were arrested during raids conducted Thursday and early Friday. Authorities say the arrests capped an intense, eight-month investigation code-named "Operation Meta."

Officials say the operation, based in Colima, Mexico near Guadalajara, has ties to the Amezcua drug cartel, but refused to give details because of the ongoing investigation.

In announcing the busts, Attorney General Janet Reno said, "To the merchants of meth we make this pledge: Your days are numbered. We have done very well today, but we are not letting up tomorrow or the next day."

Deputy Chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration James Milford termed the law enforcement operation a success, and said taking down the big California meth labs had put "a significant dent" in the meth market in the United States.


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