Cartel Members Sentenced for Transporting Meth Into Dallas

Crystal and Liquid Meth seized by law enforcement
Crystal and Liquid Meth seized by law enforcement | Image by U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas

Twelve cartel members have been sentenced to time in federal prison after they were arrested for attempting to transport roughly $10 million worth of liquid methamphetamine from Mexico to Dallas.

Those arrested and sentenced were members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, including top trafficker Francisco Javier Rodriguez Arreola, 45, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison for “conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine,” according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Texas press release.

Arreola had previously been deported to Mexico in 2020 before once again becoming an active part of the drug trade. He was then arrested again in Del Rio in 2021 for illegally reentering the United States and admitted to assisting in the transport of methamphetamine across the border, per the press release.

He was arrested for helping to coordinate the transport of 199.97 kilograms of liquid methamphetamine, which has a street value of roughly $9.9 million, that was hidden inside the diesel tank of a semi-truck traveling from Mexico to Dallas.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton stated in the press release that the sentences of the 12 cartel members ranged from four and a half years to 40 years, depending on the charges associated with the investigation.

Eduardo Chavez, the special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in North Texas, said that this form of drug trafficking is becoming much more common in the area.

“What we have seen is just this increase in creativity when it comes to trying to traffic methamphetamine — and one of these ways is finished liquid methamphetamine just commingled for lack of better words with just another inert substance — it could be gasoline,” he said, according to Fox 4 KDFW.

Chavez further explained that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel “makes its mark with trafficking methamphetamine and fake fentanyl pills,” also stating that fentanyl has become “the deadliest drug” in the country, per Fox 4.

Fentanyl has quickly become the deadliest drug in the Lone Star State, with Texas Health Data reporting 2,152 fentanyl-related overdoses in 2023, making up nearly half of the 4,747 total drug overdoses.

One step that the Dallas Police Department has taken to mitigate the impact of drug use in the area is the implementation of an overdose unit in 2021.

Jesse Carr, senior public information officer for DPD, previously told The Dallas Express that the goal of the unit was to determine how the drugs are being transported into the area, noting that the department wanted to “encourage the community to start the conversation about the dangers of fentanyl.”

Still, drug activity in the city has only increased, with the City logging a 4.5% increase in drug-related offenses in 2023 amid DPD’s longstanding police shortage. DPD has roughly 3,000 officers in its ranks despite a City analysis that states that around 4,000 are necessary to manage crime adequately.

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