If you pile together enough rocks, you essentially create a mountain. That is apparently what the federal government’s Drug Enforcement Administration had in mind when they named a recent law enforcement action “Operation Crystal Mountain.” The sweeping effort involved federal agents, as well as state and local police departments in three states: Tennessee, West Virginia and Kentucky.
The operation that began in January was completed days ago, and resulted in the arrests of 235 people on various federal drug charges. The federal agency said it seized more than 800 pounds of crystal meth in “Operation Crystal Mountain.”
The DEA also says on its website that it also more than $800,000 in cash during the three-state raids, in addition to “significant quantities” of heroin and the powerful pain-killer fentanyl. The agency also says it seized 52 guns in the operation.
The DEA said it also helped state authorities made an additional 140 arrests of individuals on state-level drug-related charges.
The agency says on its website that it seized 360 pounds of meth and made 60 arrests in Kentucky, as well as confiscating 132 pounds of the stimulant in West Virginia. It also helped make 20 arrests in the Mountain State. The totals here in Tennessee were 317 pounds of crystal meth seized and 155 arrests for drug trafficking and related charges.
Officials said the target of the operation was Mexican cartels and the Americans who work with them to manufacture, transport and distribute meth.
Those who face similar charges here in Chattanooga should decline to speak to investigators and prosecutors before they have spoken with an attorney experienced in effective drug defense in negotiations and courtrooms.