The Drug Enforcement Administration announced today the results of a year-long national operation, “Operation Last Mile,” targeting the trafficking of fentanyl and methamphetamine within the United States driven by the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels.
“The results of this operation – over 3,000 arrests and the seizure of almost 44 million fentanyl pills – demonstrate the Justice Department’s unrelenting commitment to working with our state and local partners to keep fentanyl out of our communities and save American lives,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.
“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,” said DEA Administrator 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.”
Operation Last Mile comprised 1,436 investigations conducted from May 1, 2022, through May 1, 2023, in collaboration with federal, state and local law enforcement partners, and resulted in 3,337 arrests and 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 fentanyl powder and pill seizures equate to nearly 193 million deadly doses of fentanyl removed from communities across the United States, which have prevented countless potential drug poisoning deaths.
Among these investigations, more than 1,100 cases involved social media applications and encrypted communications platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Wire, and Wickr.