U.S. and Canada Conduct Joint Methamphetamine Operation

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Friday, March 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On January 10, 2002, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced that, together with the U.S. Customs Services, Internal Revenue Services and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the arrests of more than 100 individuals in twelve cities as part of an investigation directed at the illegal trafficking of pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is an essential precursor chemical used to manufacture the illegal drug, methamphetamine, also commonly know as “speed” or “crank”. While pseudoephedrine, the common antihistamine is legal in Canada, it is controlled in the U.S. currency as part of the investigation. The DEA reports that most of the alleged smugglers are of middle Eastern decent. Some are in the U.S. illegally. Federal investigators have traced some of their money to the Middle East. According to Asa Hutchinson, the head of the DEA, no evidence exists that the suspects were involved in terrorism. The law enforcement operation illustrates the success of joint multinational and multi-agency investigative efforts.