Feds break up alleged crime syndicate trucking drugs from Mexico to Canada

February 1, 2024

Land Line Staff


The feds have busted an alleged international organized crime syndicate that conspired to bring cocaine and other drugs from Mexico into the U.S. and Canada using trucks.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, 10 people were arrested in multiple cities in the U.S. and Canada. The arrests stemmed from two federal indictments charging that members of the crime syndicate conspired to traffic hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and other drugs into the U.S. and Canada from Mexico for redistribution.

The investigation, dubbed “Operation Dead Hand,” resulted in the two federal grand jury indictments in Los Angeles in January. The indictments charge 19 people for their alleged roles in the operation, including Mexico-based suppliers, U.S. distributors, a Canadian who led the export operation, Canadian-based truck drivers, a Canadian trafficker and an Italian organized crime figure.

In addition to the 10 taken into custody, two defendants were already in state custody and seven defendants are fugitives, including three Mexico citizens who allegedly supplied the large quantities of narcotics.

Investigators discovered the organized crime group used Canadian “handlers” and “dispatchers” who traveled from Canada to Los Angeles for short amounts of time. The handlers coordinated the pick-up and delivery of large shipments of cocaine and methamphetamine, which were loaded onto long-haul semi-trucks destined for Canada. According to the press release, the transportation was coordinated by a network of drivers working with dozens of trucking companies who made numerous border crossings from the United States to Canada via the Detroit Windsor Tunnel, the Buffalo Peace Bridge and the Blue Water Bridge.

The charges outlined in the two indictments include drug trafficking conspiracy, drug exportation conspiracy and distribution/possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, among other charges.

Each of the defendants, if convicted, faces a prison term ranging from 15 years to life, according to the news release. LL