50 in N.C. arrested in nationwide bust of Mexican drug traffickers
Posted November 10, 2009 2:15 p.m. EST
Updated November 10, 2009 6:53 p.m. EST
More than 50 people in eastern North Carolina have been arrested in a nationwide sting against a major Mexican drug trafficking cartel, authorities said Tuesday.
Authorities also seized $1.7 million, 22 weapons and various narcotics, including approximately 200 kilograms of cocaine, 15 pounds of methamphetamine and 200 pounds of marijuana as a result of the operation, called Project Coronado.
The arrests were part of Project Coronado, a 44-month investigation by federal, state and local authorities in which nearly 1,200 people have been arrested nationally and more than 11.7 tons of narcotics seized.
The investigation targeted the La Familia Michoacana drug cartel. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, it controls drug manufacturing and distribution in southwestern Mexico, including the importation of vast quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico into the United States.
The arrests, made in Wake, Edgecombe, Chatham, Halifax, Wayne and other counties, are based on charges ranging from trafficking, conspiracy, robbery and firearms violations.