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The Trump administration announced on Wednesday the results from a massive federal operation targeting the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), which is one of the most notorious drug cartels in Mexico.
The Justice Department (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) revealed that over 600 arrests had been made as a result of Project Python, which started late last year.
“Project Python marks the most comprehensive action to date in the Department of Justice’s campaign to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately destroy CJNG,” Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Criminal Division said during a press conference. “When President Trump signed an Executive Order prioritizing the dismantlement of transnational criminal organizations, the Department of Justice answered the call and took direct aim at CJNG. We deemed CJNG one of the highest-priority transnational organized crime threats we face. And with Project Python, we are delivering results in the face of that threat for the American people.”
President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13773 instructed federal officials to identify, interdict, disrupt, and dismantle drug cartels, which has been a top priority of Trump’s.
The statement added:
CJNG is one of the fastest growing transnational criminal organizations in Mexico, and among the most prolific methamphetamine producers in the world. It is responsible for a significant proportion of drugs entering the United States, and elevated levels of violence in Mexico. With methamphetamine abuse and overdose deaths on the rise, Project Python aims to disrupt CJNG’s ability to distribute methamphetamine and other drugs throughout the United States by attacking the group at all levels.
The efforts highlighted in the more than 600 arrests nationwide are illustrative of the significant reach the CJNG has in manufacturing, importing and distributing a wide array of illegal narcotics within the United States and the negative impact on the fabric of our local communities. The proceeds from the local distribution of these narcotics are repatriated back to Mexico and further fuel transnational organized criminal organizations such as the CJNG. The Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners will continue to vigorously fight this scourge against the United States.
The 2019 DEA National Drug Threat Assessment reported the following about CJNG:
CJNG, based in the city of Guadalajara in the Mexican State of Jalisco, is the most recently formed of the six TCOs. With drug distribution hubs in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta, it is one of the most powerful and fastest growing cartels in Mexico and the United States. CJNG smuggles illicit drugs into the United States by accessing various trafficking corridors along the SWB including Tijuana, Juarez, and Nuevo Laredo. CJNG’s rapid expansion of its drug trafficking activities is characterized by the willingness to engage in violent confrontations with Mexican Government security forces and rival cartels. Like most major Mexican TCOs, CJNG is a poly-drug trafficking group, manufacturing and/or distributing large amounts of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl. CJNG reportedly has presence in at least 24 of 32 Mexican states.
“Project Python is the single largest strike by U.S. authorities against CJNG, and this is just the beginning,” Acting DEA Administrator Uttam Dhillon said during the press conference. “This strategic and coordinated project exemplifies DEA’s mission: to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy drug trafficking organizations around the world and bring their leaders to justice. Today, DEA has disrupted CJNG’s operations, and there is more to come as DEA continues its relentless attack on this remorseless criminal organization.”