A number of suspects, thought to be members and associates of the Mexican Mafia, were arrested on Friday (October 2) in San Antonio, on drug trafficking charges.
The arrests followed a joint investigation between federal, state and local authorities, codenamed Operation Last Dance, and relate to bringing methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine into the San Antonio area.
Operation Last Dance began in July this year. The indictment alleges that the defendants are responsible for distributing controlled substances from July 2020 to September 23, 2020.
Other charges in the indictment reportedly include conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance; possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance; and, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
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According to federal officials, the operation and ensuing raids have netted a total of 33 firearms, approximately 40 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine, two kilograms of heroin, an unspecified amount of cocaine and an undisclosed amount of cash in U.S. currency.
All the defendants, with ages ranging from 25 to 50, are now in custody awaiting detention hearings in federal court. The hearings are due to begin next week. Most are expected to face lengthy mandatory federal prison terms if they are convicted.
Several agencies were involved in bringing the indictments, including the DEA, FBI, San Antonio Police Department’s Gang Unit, Bexar County Sheriff’s Department, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Office of Inspector General, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
“The arrests made as part of Operation Last Dance in San Antonio and the surrounding areas conclude a comprehensive investigation by DEA and our law enforcement partners into the criminal activities of violent local street gangs to include members of the Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, and their criminal associates,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple. “This investigation reflects DEA’s commitment to make sure communities across Texas are safe and prevent gang members involved in drug distribution and other violent criminal activity from establishing a foothold in our neighborhoods.”
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