New Orleans is one of eight major transportation hubs for methamphetamine, according to the DEA

State News

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Operation Crystal Shield is in full effect in Louisiana and seven other places around the country.

“It’s basically to combat the meth trafficking in eight designated offices where the most significant seizures have happened over the past year, and New Orleans is one of them,” DEA Special Agent Scott Wright said.

The DEA chose eight cities to focus their investigation in: Los Angeles, Phoenix, El Paso, Dallas, Houston, St. Louis, Atlanta, and New Orleans.

“The eight offices that were chosen accounted for over 75% of all meth seized last year,” Wright said.

Last year law enforcement seized 60% more meth in New Orleans, and the DEA believes they know why.

“With the industrial-sized labs that it’s being produced at in Mexico, they are producing multi-ton quantities on a weekly basis, which has flooded the market and caused the prices to plunge,” Wright told News 10.

Operation Crystal Shield will put more patrol officers on the roads between Los Angeles and Atlanta, and the DEA hopes the heightened police presence will lead to more drug seizures.

“Of course we’ll be working hand-in-hand with them following up on any intelligence that’s gleaned from the stops and the seizures,” Wright said.

So far, Operation Crystal Shield has been successful.

Agents have seized 66 lbs. of crystal meth, 37 lbs. of cocaine, 400 grams of heroin, 3 lbs. of “gray death,” and 283 lbs. of marijuana, amongst other narcotics.

Altogether, the DEA has seized a street value of nearly $4 million worth of narcotics, but Wright says they won’t stop working to get these drugs off the streets.

“The chemicals that go into that if taken by themselves are deadly, so it really is a poison that people are choosing to put in their bodies, and with every dose you take, you’re just shortening your life span. It’s truly a poison,” Wright said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.