Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mexico Incinerates 15 Tons of Methamphetamines

Mexican authorities incinerated more than 15 tons of methamphetamines valued at 58 million pesos ($4.5 million) in the western state of Jalisco, the federal Attorney General’s Office said.

Military personnel destroyed the drugs on a base after confirming they were methamphetamines that had been processed at a clandestine laboratory, the AG’s office said in a statement.

Army troops made the drug seizure, considered “historic” due to the amount of synthetic drug found at a single site, at a ranch in the town of Tlajomulco, some 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the state capital of Guadalajara.

Soldiers also found 4,575 liters (1,209 gallons) of chemicals, 2,400 kilos (2.6 tons) of caustic soda, 20 kilos (44 pounds) of ammonia and five kilos (11 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine.

A total of 15 metal reactors, 12 tanks of gas, nine oxygen tanks and nine thermostats used to make synthetic drugs also were found at the illegal lab.

The AG’s office said investigators were still trying to determine to which organized crime gang the seized drugs belonged.

Authorities from the 15th Military Zone, based in Guadalajara, federal and state police and AG’s office personnel supervised the destruction of the drugs.

There has been increase in meth seizures in the state of Jalisco since 2007.

Another lab capable of producing illegal drugs in industrial quantities was found in Tlajomulco last month and more than 20 tons of chemicals were seized.

The chemicals found at the site were sufficient to produce drugs with a street value of approximately 420 million pesos (about $32 million), officials said.

Seven illegal drug labs have been found this year in Jalisco, the Defense Secretariat said.

The Los Zetas cartel, which served as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel until 2010, and the Jalisco Nueva Generacion gang, which was created following the death of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, one of the leaders of the Sinaloa cartel, operate in the state.