DEA Operation ‘Last Mile’ connects local drug influx to 2 powerful Mexican Drug Cartels

DEA agents nationwide worked on a year-long operation called Last Mile to break the stranglehold the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels have on the U.S.
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 8:01 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In an effort to keep drugs off the streets, the Drug Enforcement Administration just finished up Operation Last Mile.

The year-long operation tracked the influx of fentanyl and meth into our area from two Mexican Cartels and how criminals are using social media to infiltrate our communities.

The Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels are considered two of the most dangerous drug cartels in the world and the DEA has confiscated more than 193 million deadly doses of their fentanyl nationwide.

Numbers you may be used to seeing in shows in movies but are now right in your backyard.

From May 1, 2022 to May 1, 2023, the DEA worked Operation Last Mile to target operatives. associates and distributors affiliated with the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels.

They are two of the biggest and most dangerous cartels in the world poisoning Americans with their drugs.

“I want to really emphasis the violence of these cartels and the violence they are bringing to our communities,” Louisville DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Tom Ivarie said. “These tentacles they have reach worldwide, they’re reaching our communities here within the Louisville Field Division and that consists of the states of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.”

Ivarie said Operation Last Mile found more than 1.7-million deadly doses of fentanyl, 544 pounds of methamphetamine, and more than 600 guns.

It led to 137 arrests and agents confiscated more than $4-million in assets in our region and of all the drugs they collected, half of them contained deadly amounts of fentanyl.

“These fentanyl is twenty times more addictive than heroin,” Ivarie said. “So I want to emphasize this as well to your viewers that it only takes one pill to kill. It could be a deadly dose.”

The scariest part, however, may be the ways cartels are infiltrating our communities.

They’re using social media to recruit violent gangs and even tricking people to buying over-the-counter pills laced with their drugs.

A combination of the two can to deadly results.

”People think there may be a legitimate use for that and they will present it that way and they will appear physically that way in these pills and people will buy those innocently, thinking there’s some legitimate need for that and it’s just poison,” explained Ivarie.

Ivarie said if you think you’re buying a legit pharmaceutical drug online, it’s probably not legitimate and he warns people to be careful who and where you take pills from.

In the meantime, he said and his team are working to keep these drugs off the streets forever.

“We will pursue this relentlessly until these two cartels are defeated,” Ivarie said.

This isn’t just in our region but nationwide as well.

Ivarie said along with the more than 193 million deadly doses of fentanyl, 91,000 pounds of meth have also been siezed across the country.

Staggering numbers the DEA hopes to bring down to zero.