Mexican military troops made a historic drug seizure Wednesday night, collecting over 15 tons of methamphetamine.
The amount of methamphetamine seized is equivalent to half of all the seizures made in 2009 according to a report by The Associated Press News. The bust was announced in Jalisco state, which is about a day's drive from the Texas border. The value of the drugs in the United States is valued at around $4 billion.
"This could potentially put a huge dent in the supply chain in the U.S.," said U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Rusty Payne. "When we're taking this much out of the supply chain, it's a huge deal."
Military troops were led to the location by several anonymous tips. Although 12 to 15 workers were found on site, no arrests have been made in association to the bust. Antonio Mazzitelli, the regional representative of the U.N. Office of Drugs had configured that either serious Mexican drug dealers had been making attempts to expand the business or business had been dead.
"Such large-scale production could suggest an expansion, an attempt by some Mexican groups, the most business-oriented I would say, to move into Latin American and Asian markets," Mazzitelli speculated. Or on the other hand, he suggested "it may be a product that hasn't been able to be sold, and like any business, when the market is depressed, stockpiles build up."
The previous largest bust by Mexican officials occurred in 2010 when 3.1 tons of meth were found. The bust was later believed to be linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, one of Mexico's most powerful organized crime groups. Officials are also considering that Sinaloa was involved in the current bust.
A senior U.S. law enforcement official in Mexico told AP News Thursday that this week's bust in Jalisco was "probably Sinaloa."
"The official, who could not be named for security reasons, said Sinaloa may be moving into meth 'to reduce its reliance on Colombian cocaine by flooding the market with meth,'" the AP reported.
Methamphetamine, which is sometimes called "crystal," "crank," "glass,""ice," or "speed" comes in two forms and is rarely ever used as a pure substance. Meth can cost as much as $80 a hit. PBS reported the popularity of meth has only risen. "There are 1.4 million meth users in America, and the number is rising," the website stated.