WASHINGTON (AFP) – U.S. authorities announced Wednesday that they had arrested 750 people involved with the powerful Mexican methamphetamine cartel Jalisco New Generation, denting one of the world’s “most dangerous” trafficking organizations.
The Drug Enforcement Administration said 250 were arrested around the United States early Wednesday, taking the total to 750 during the crackdown.
The Justice Department also unveiled fresh indictments of the cartel’s head Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, also known as El Mencho, and his son and daughter, who are both already in US custody.
DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said authorities exercised 100 search warrants Wednesday morning targeting the group, often known as CJNG.
“CJNG is one of the most dangerous drug trafficking organizations in the world,” he said. “El Mencho is one of our highest priorities to bring to justice.”
Dhillon said the group has run more than 100 laboratories making methamphetamine in Mexico, and also traffics other drugs including cocaine and fentanyl.
The people arrested are mostly middle and upper level operatives in the network, he said.
“We made a serious dent in CJNG’s ability to operate in the United States,” he said.
The gang emerged in 2010 after the death of the regional leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Mexico’s biggest criminal group.
It has a strong presence in nine Mexican states and connections with criminal organizations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
In recent years, it has carried out attacks against military and police targets, including the 2015 downing of a military helicopter which killed 20 soldiers and a policewoman.
The Mexican government estimates the Jalisco New Generation cartel has amassed a $50 billion fortune.
The indictment of Oseguera Cervantes charges him with trafficking and conspiracy to murder.
Last month his son Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez, also known as Menchito, was extradited from Mexico to the United States on drug trafficking and firearms charges.
His daughter Jessica Johanna Oseguera Gonzalez, was arrested on February 26 in the United States on financial charges related to the cartel’s dealings.
© Agence France-Presse