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The Texas-Mexico border has been a hub for drug trafficking for years. The Mexican cartel is largely responsible for drugs like cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine in Texas and the rest of the United States. Mexican suppliers are especially responsible for most heroin and methamphetamine production, while cocaine is more often made in Colombia than transported to the U.S. via Mexican criminal organizations. To illustrate the impact of drug trafficking on the opioid epidemic and drug addiction in the U.S., we’re sharing the biggest drug busts in Texas this year.
The amount of heroin seized by DEA Field Divisions increased by 30% from 2018 to 2019, with the largest amounts of heroin seized in Texas, California, Arizona, and New York. In 2019, DEA fentanyl seizures reached a record high since 2015, with DEA record seizures totaling 3,138 kilograms of fentanyl and fentanyl-related compounds.1 As a result of the opioid epidemic, the use of heroin and fentanyl has significantly increased. Stimulant abuse involving cocaine and meth has also remained high. Below is a list of recent Texas drug busts that have seized record amounts of drugs.
In a recent drug bust in Texas, federal and local law enforcement recovered more than a kilogram of cocaine, half a kilogram of methamphetamine, 14 firearms, and nearly $1.6 million in cash during a drug bust in southeast Dallas, Texas. A man named Hector Manuel Castro-Quirino, 47, and his girlfriend Vanesa Ann Cervantes, 38, were residents of the two-bedroom home. They were arrested and charged with drug conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute. The investigation began in June when law enforcement was tipped off about drug dealers operating out of a home in South Acres Drive in Dallas, TX.
In the home, law enforcement found five gallon-sized plastic bags filled with drugs, which were stashed in the master bedroom along with other smaller-sized plastic baggies of assorted colors. These smaller bags would’ve been used for drug distribution. Drug ledgers were also found, which contained customer and payment information, in addition to 14 firearms, some of them loaded. The $1.6 million were found in cash stashed in tube socks, shoe boxes, and a large trash bag.2 This is one of the hundreds of cocaine and meth busts that demonstrate how serious drug trafficking is and the role it plays in drug use, addiction, and the increasing need for drug addiction treatment.
In January 2021, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas division reported the largest methamphetamine and heroin seizure in the branch’s history. During a traffic stop involving a refrigerated tractor-trailer, law enforcement found 1,950 pounds of drugs (worth about $45 million), making it the biggest methamphetamine seizure in North Texas. The giant haul had been divided into 633 packages that were stashed in a hidden compartment, each of which would have been repackaged for distribution in Texas, Chicago, St. Louis, and Atlanta. Eduardo A. Chávez, a special agent in charge of the DEA’s Dallas office, said that the meth was smuggled across the border by traffickers working with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), which is led by Nemesio Oseguera-Cervantes, who is nicknamed ‘El Mencho.’3
If you’ve heard of heroin but don’t know what it is, it’s a powerful opioid that works differently from meth or cocaine. While meth and cocaine are central nervous system (CNS) stimulants that increase activity in the brain, opioids like heroin reduce nerve activity in the brain, producing a euphoric and calming high. Heroin is one of the many opioids that have contributed to the increasing rate of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. This is a highly addictive drug that can lead to mental illness, increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, and more. If you know someone who’s addicted to this drug, we offer heroin detox and addiction treatment at Banyan Treatment Centers Texas that can help. Our services include 24-hour medical supervision and counseling to ensure that our patients are safe, healthy, and getting the resources they need to get and stay sober.
In the biggest drug bust in Liberty County’s history, the DEA seized $1 million worth of methamphetamine in a home at County Road 2191 off FM 787. Liberty County officials were asked to assist in a search warrant led by the DEA out of Houston to seize what they estimated to be $500,000 worth. However, when authorities showed up at the home in question, they found more than they were anticipating. The most recent tally shows they found 6,000 pounds of meth, increasing the street value to about $1 million. The home was being used as a conversion lab where meth is turned into the raw, liquid form, making it more difficult for agents to detect. The amount of drugs seized was so large, a hazmat crew from the Houston Police Department were called in to assist.4
Investigators with Homeland Security Investigations conducted what they claimed to be the largest meth seizure in Houston’s history. In May 2021, authorities seized 1,789 pounds of meth in north Houston, as well as large quantities of other narcotics, during an investigation near North Shepherd and I-45 in north Houston. The seizure totaled out to $3.4 million of meth. The haul was so big that other agencies like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Houston; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Houston; Harris County Constables Office Precinct 1; Harris County Constables Office Precinct 3; Texas Department of Public Safety; Houston Fire Department; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and the Houston Police Department participated in the operation.5
Because Texas is on the Mexican border, drug trafficking in the state is, unfortunately, very common. The distribution of drugs like heroin, cocaine, meth, and fentanyl into the state is an ongoing problem, and it seems like authorities are constantly the biggest drug busts in Texas. Unfortunately, the impact of drug trafficking is reflected in the high rates of drug use in the U.S., specifically the opioid epidemic. Banyan Texas is a rehab center in Waelder that offers various levels of substance abuse treatment to help people who are suffering from drug addictions and want to recover their sobriety.