Massive multi-state drug takedown nets 330 suspects

Written by Staff Writer

More than 300 people in six states have been arrested as part of a multi-state effort by the US Marshals Service to dismantle a violent drug trafficking gang.

The 35-year-old Organization to Untangle Crime task force includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in Louisiana, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas.

The US Marshals Service said in a statement Wednesday that the task force, which began in 2003, has taken custody of more than 1,000 violent criminals during that time.

The US Marshals Service on Twitter

“This coordinated action has removed long-running, violent criminal organizations from our communities and made the streets of the Gulf Coast safer,” Acting Deputy US Attorney General Matthew Troy said in a statement.

According to the US Marshals Service, the organizations were primarily controlled by the Cuban-born Walid Esquerre, who is also known as “El Chino.

Esquerre was convicted of attempted first-degree murder in 1995 and first-degree robbery in 2001. He has been charged by a federal grand jury with conspiracy to traffic in heroin, cocaine and other drugs.

The task force action is the latest in a series of anti-crime operations in the Trump administration. Last year, in one such operation, more than 2,100 people were arrested in seven states after federal and local law enforcement took control of their criminal activities.

The recent roundup involves more than 220 state and local law enforcement agencies, nearly 150 raids and a second coordinated operation of approximately 30 individuals, the US Marshals Service said.

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