UPDATED 10:22 AM PT – Wednesday, October 27, 2021
The Justice Department announced the arrest of 150 people in an international dark net opioid probe. The DOJ confirmed they made a massive development in the U.S.’s fight against the illegal global opioid trade.
The Justice Department said they seized over $30 million in cash and virtual currency, as well as 45 guns after the roughly 10-month long international operation called “Dark HunTor.” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the U.S. and its’ allies are actively working to destroy the illegal drug industry.
“We are here today to expose those who seek the shadows of the internet to peddle killer pills worldwide. Thanks to unprecedented international law enforcement cooperation, 150 dark net drug traffickers have been arrested around the world, including 65 right here in the United States,” said Monaco.
International Law Enforcement Operation Targeting Opioid Traffickers on the Darknet Results in 150 Arrests Worldwide and the Seizure of Weapons, Drugs, and over $31 Million
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) October 26, 2021
According to Monaco, illegal drug trades start in China and are completed in Mexico before being spread across the globe.
“We know that precursor chemicals that go into these pills are coming from labs in China and manufactured in Mexico,” she said. “The attorney general was just part of a very significant meeting with three other cabinet officials with meeting with Mexican authorities, and the DEA administrator has also met with the Mexican attorney general and we’ve raised this issue repeatedly.”
Additionally, Monaco said the U.S. won’t let up until Mexico and China cooperate with the U.S. to put an end to the illegal drug trade.
“Look, you can expect us to continue to press our international counterparts to press countries like China, to press Mexico, to make sure that these labs cannot operate from their locations and send deadly pills here to this country, and that the flow of those precursor chemicals are stopped coming through Mexico and ultimately to the United States,” stated Monaco.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 70,000 Americans died of an overdose from opioids in 2020, making it the deadliest year on record.