A story out of Atlanta gives yet another reason we desperately need to get control of the Mexican border. Authorities there have seized two very large amounts of meth in only a few days. Mexican drug gangs are bringing large amount of this stuff into the country.
Last week, federal officials announced the seizure of 174 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, calling it one of the largest ever on the East Coast.
But that's old news. On Wednesday, the feds announced a bust that doubled that.
In the latest case, law enforcement agents seized 341 pounds of the highly addictive crystal meth — or ice — in a Gainesville home. They said it is further evidence of the growing impact of Mexican drug organizations in the area. It was the sixth largest amount ever seized in this country, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Two men were arrested, and two others are wanted. All are illegal immigrants.
"The problem is enormous and growing," U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said at a news conference, flanked by federal and local officials and facing a table with mounds of the drug on it. "Atlanta has become a prime shipment hub for these organizations. We ship drugs to Miami, which is an astounding thing."
Nahmias would not comment on the origin of the latest seizure, which had no connection to last week's bust, but said most methamphetamine sold in the United States now is cooked in clandestine labs in Mexico, then smuggled into the United States and distributed to other areas.
He said the Mexican drug organizations, by the sheer volume of their product and their increasingly efficient distribution rings, have pushed the "mom and pop" operations out of business. "They realize meth is a booming business," he said. "They are taking over this business."
Alejandro Martinez-Menera, 23, and Arnulfo Pineda-Rivera, 32, have been arrested, and Martinez-Menera's brothers — Socorro, 25, and Sacarias, 21 — are being sought. Officials say the investigation is continuing.
The seizure occurred Aug. 21, nearly two months after a helicopter from the governor's drug task force spotted a marijuana field in the Chattahoochee National Forest in the North Georgia mountains.
Agents from the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives kept watch over the field and observed four men tending it, using hoes to clear vegetation from around the plants.
"You can imagine that, in the summertime in North Georgia, it can be very grueling" to run a stakeout, said Russ Arthur, a Forest Service supervising agent.
Agents ran the license plate of the Jeep used by the men, which led them to the Gainesville home, and later put a mobile tracking device on the vehicle to aid in the surveillance. Three separate coolers filled with the meth — two buried outside — were found in an Aug. 21 search of the home. The meth was tightly wrapped in plastic containers — 99 in all.
Before some people jump in the comments section, yes I realize a border fence and better control will not eliminate the traffic. But it will at least slow the flood and make it more difficult for people like this who come to the country illegally to commit crimes. Not work, not raise a family, to commit crimes. That alone is reason enough for stricter border controls.