Meth confiscated, hundreds arrested in Ky., Tenn., W.Va.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP/WSAZ) — Federal authorities say a drug sweep in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia has netted more than 800 pounds (363 kilograms) of methamphetamine.

Photo courtesy: CNN VAN

The Drug Enforcement Administration says in a news release that Mexican cartels and other drug trafficking groups and individuals were targeted.

Since January, 235 people were arrested on federal drug charges as part of Operation Crystal Mountain. More than $800,000 in cash and 52 firearms were seized along with significant quantities of heroin, fentanyl, and other drugs.

The operation netted 60 arrests and 360 pounds (163 kg) of meth in Kentucky, 155 arrests and 317 pounds (144 kg) of meth in Tennessee, and 20 arrests and 132 pounds (160 kg) in West Virginia.

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

DEA Special Agent D. Christopher Evans says it "represents a small victory in our ongoing fight for safer communities for us all."

“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," said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. "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. 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.”