The volume was reportedly 1,930 pounds separated into 663 packages, which has an estimated street value of about $45 million.
Special Agent in Charge Eduardo Chavez of the Dallas division of the DEA explained the magnitude of the event.
“It’s just a staggering amount to be seized at one time,” Chavez told local ABC affiliate WFAA.
The contraband was hidden inside a tractor trailer and pulled out like “sausage links,” according to Chavez. He explained that the semi-truck didn’t even have a fake load of cargo, marking more risky behavior by drug traffickers as they have taken fewer trips with greater quantities of narcotics.
Chavez indicated that the seizure is connected to the New Generation Cartel of Jalisco (CJNG), which is led by Nemesio Oseguera-Cervantes, also known as El Mencho. The accused drug cartel leader is among the U.S.’s most wanted fugitives and there is currently a $10 million reward for his capture.
“No doubt, this got [Oseguera-Cervantes’] attention. A seizure like this, he most likely got a phone call,” Chavez told WFAA. “We take one of these seizures and try to expand the network, try to identify perhaps what other ones have gotten through.”
“Drug-involved overdoses” killed 70,630 Americans in 2019, according to the most recent data provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 16,167 deaths can be attributed to overdoses concerning psychostimulants, usually methamphetamine, which is a sharp increase from 12,676 in 2018.
In August of last year, a federal grand jury indicted 28 individuals associated with CJNG for allegedly laundering $10 million since 2015 at a clothing store in southeast Dallas.
The brutal drug cartel is responsible for instances of extraordinary cruelty in Mexico, including the alleged assassination of the governor of Jalisco, the Mexican state after which the cartel is named.