DEA’s Yearlong Operation Cracks Down on Mexican Drug Cartels And Fentanyl 

Pills laced with fentanyl.

By Steve Neavling

A yearlong operation by the DEA that targeted Mexican drug cartels resulted in more than 3,300 arrests and the seizure of a massive amount of fentanyl and firearms. 

The operation, dubbed “Operation Last Mile,” ran from May 1, 2022, to May 1, 2023, and led to the seizure of nearly 44 million fentanyl pills, more than 6,500 pounds of fentanyl powder, more than 91,000 pounds of methamphetamine, 8,497 firearms, and more than $100 million, the DEA said in a statement

The DEA tracked distribution networks across the U.S. that are tied to the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels, which used violent local street gangs and criminal groups to saturate American communities with large amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine. 

The cartels and their associates used social media to coordinate logistics and find buyers.

In all, the operation included 1,436 investigations. 

“The Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels use multi-city distribution networks, violent local street gangs, and individual dealers across the United States to flood American communities with fentanyl and methamphetamine, drive addiction, fuel violence, and kill Americans,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.  “What is also alarming—American social media platforms are the means by which they do so.  The Cartels use social media and encrypted platforms to run their operations and reach out to victims, and when their product kills Americans, they simply move on to try to victimize the millions of other Americans who are social media users.”

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