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DEA announces big meth bust in St. Louis

Nearly 200 pounds of narcotics are off the streets of St. Louis today.

The St. Louis division of the Drug Enforcement Administration has announced the results of a year and a half long operation that resulted in 36 arrests and the seizure of 190 pounds of methamphetamine as well as heroin, weapons and cash totaling more than $1 million.

The methamphetamine alone carries a street value of more than $3 million.

Displayed are 17 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, guns and cash seized during a bust.
Credit Hannah Westerman | St. Louis Public Radio
Displayed are 17 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, guns and cash seized during a bust.

The investigation discovered traffickers funneling drugs into Missouri from what DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James Shroba calls Mexican super labs.

"If you ask me what keeps me up at night, it’s organizations like this," said Shroba. "Whether they deal in methamphetamine or heroin, they have access to high capacity firearms, lots of narcotics, they generate tremendous wealth and they’re the drivers of crime."

The crime network was also linked to money smuggling with couriers transporting large sums of cash from the St. Louis region to California.

Thirty-nine federal indictments were unsealed Tuesday and the DEA says more arrests are expected related to this bust.

The operation was a collaborative effort by DEA St. Louis, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis County Police Department, St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force, St. Francois County Sheriff's Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office,

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