Attorney General Says DOJ Focusing On 8 Meth Hubs, Including Phoenix

By Jimmy Jenkins, Mark Brodie
Published: Friday, September 11, 2020 - 1:42am
Updated: Friday, September 11, 2020 - 12:19pm

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Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
Attorney General Bill Barr

Attorney General Bill Barr visited the Drug Enforcement Agency’s offices in Phoenix Wednesday to address what he called a serious challenge facing law enforcement throughout the country. 

The Department of Justice launched operation Crystal Shield in February of 2020, targeting eight U.S. cities, including Phoenix, identified as hubs for methamphetamine trafficking.

Barr said the operation is in response to an increase in meth overdoses around the country and specifically in Arizona, where more than 2,000 people overdosed in 2019.

“Unlike opioids we don’t have something to counteract it therapeutically," Barr said of meth overdoses. "There is no NARCAN for methamphetamine.”

Barr said the DOJ has been taking a two-pronged approach: cracking down on the large industrial labs in Mexico where it’s produced, and policing distribution channels for meth in the United States. Barr said the operation has so far resulted in the seizure of more than 28,000 pounds of meth nationwide.

A spokesperson for the Phoenix DEA said 780 pounds of meth have been seized in Arizona in recent weeks.

Barr was also asked about previous statements he’s made regarding mail-in voting. The Attorney General said he opposed the universal mailing of ballots to voters. “That opens the floodgate to potential fraud and coercion,” Barr said.

Responding to questions about the DOJ’s involvement in defending the president in a defamation lawsuit by a woman accusing Trump of sexual assault, Barr said the White House had requested the DOJ’s involvement, and he defended the decision to grant it.

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