235 people arrested during 'Operation Crystal Mountain' drug enforcement operation

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- More than 235 people were arrested during a targeted drug enforcement operation called 'Operation Crystal Mountain.'

The enforcement spanned across three states including Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, announced the results of this months-long operation that targeted Mexican drug cartels, drug trafficking organizations and other people involved in the manufacturing and distribution of meth.

According to the DEA, since January, 235 people were arrested on federal drug-related charges and more than 800 pounds of meth were seized, as well as around $800,000 in cash and 52 firearms and significant amounts of heroin, fentanyl and other drugs.

During that same time, the DEA assisted its state and local counterparts with the arrest of 140 additional people on state-level drug charges.

Below is the breakdown by state:

  • Kentucky: 360 pounds of meth and 60 arrests

  • Tennessee: 317 pounds of meth and 155 arrests

  • West Virginia: 132 pounds of meth and 20 arrests
  • “While America’s opioid crisis may dominate headlines, Operation Crystal Mountain should serve as a reminder that methamphetamine is a problem that has never gone away. The dedicated men and women of DEA, working closely with state and local law enforcement, are relentless in their efforts to rid our neighborhoods of dangerous drugs and bring to justice those who distribute them, wherever they may be.” “West Virginia has been the epicenter of the opioid epidemic and now another scourge is plaguing our state – crystal meth,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Meth is also powerful and deadly and the traffickers are armed and dangerous. Yesterday’s meth during our previous crisis was made in local bake houses, poor quality and less than 20% pure. Today’s meth is far more refined, imported, up to 98% pure and far more powerful. With the help of our law enforcement partners, we are prosecuting scores of meth dealers and locking them up for significant prison sentences. We’re using every possible resource to rid our streets of drug dealers and keep West Virginia families safe.”