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Feds make largest methamphetamine bust in West Virginia history
By Teddy Grant and Luke Barr, ABC News,
(CHARLESTON, W.Va.) -- The Department of Justice announced Wednesday it made the largest methamphetamine bust in West Virginia history.
The DOJ charged 30 people with allegedly distributing more than 200 pounds of meth, alongside guns and other drugs, over a period of seven months, dubbing the operation "Operation Smoke and Mirrors."
"The takedown of this drug trafficking organization stopped a record amount of methamphetamine, as well as other dangerous drugs, from reaching our communities and causing harm," United States Attorney Will Thompson said in a statement.
According to the DOJ, the individuals were also charged with distributing large amounts of cocaine and fentanyl in Charleston.
Officials seized 28 pounds of cocaine, 20 pounds of fentanyl, 18 guns and $747,000 in cash during the operation, the Justice Department said.
"This investigation demonstrates that we will use all of our resources, including new and innovative investigative techniques, against those who target our communities with this poison," Thompson said.
The announcement comes on the same day that the Department of Homeland Security disclosed it seized 900 pounds of fentanyl in its first week as part of its fentanyl-targeting operation called "Operation Blue Lotus."
According to DHS, the operation has led to 18 seizures, 16 federal arrests, and two state arrests. Those seizures prevented over 900 pounds of fentanyl, 700 pounds of methamphetamine and 100 pounds of cocaine from entering the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meth killed over 32,000 Americans in 2021.
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