The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force assisted the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in arresting 13 Gulf Cartel members Tuesday morning.
The arrested are among 52 people targeted in a now partially sealed indictment that alleges their involvement in a drug conspiracy.
But not only did HIDTA assist in making the arrest, they also seized nearly a hundred vehicles, more than 20 weapons and thousands of dollars.
Today the task force assessed the new inventory, all marked with the number 355.
The number signifies how many cases the task force has conducted this year.
It’s the largest seizure so far this year.
“They use this area because it’s close to the river,” Starr County HIDTA Investigator Ismael Guerra said.
It’s no secret cartels utilize Starr County.
“They move it north because the value goes up,” he said.
The arrests and property seizure comes after a two year federal and local investigation.
Guerra said he hopes the arrests will slow down the trafficking of drugs.
So far this year HITDA has seized 160,000 pounds of marijuana.
“It’s never been busier,” Guerra said.
The task force did see less movement of drugs during the Department of Public Safety increased patrols and added checkpoints.
But now that the initiative is over, and October marks harvesting month for marijuana, more arrests and seizures are expected.
The 13 charged in federal court today remain in McAllen as they await their bond hearing next week.