Feds Seize Giant Meth and Fentanyl Lab Disguised Behind Storefront in Mexico

Federal prosecutors announced the uncovering of an elaborate meth and fentanyl lab that was hiding behind an unassuming storefront in Mexico City.

Fentanyl being weighed

Image via Getty/Sandy Huffaker

Fentanyl being weighed

According to an announcement made on Sunday by federal prosecutors, police and soldiers in Mexico took down a meth and fentanyl lab that was so large it surprised the very authorities who seized it. 

The Associated Press, citing Felipe de Jesus Gallo of the Federal Attorney General’s Office, writes that the lab had two-story-tall vats that could simultaneously process more than five tons of raw material at once.

“In the Attorney General’s Office, we have no record of any seizure of equipment of this size before,” Gallo said.

The lab, which was located on the outskirts of Mexico City, was found this past week in a storefront that was passing as a business selling industrial cleaning products. 

The AP reports that, behind that business, was a warehouse with drums stacked atop one another, and with 265-gallon tanks that contained precursor chemicals which, according to Gallo, were for producing meth and synthetic opioid fentanyl. 

The seizure was part of a series of coordinated raids code-named "Blue," which targeted properties throughout the country. 

Other consequences of these raids include the arrest of an engineer (who had allegedly built and overseen the running of labs for organized crime), the confiscation of a drum of what would be future fentanyl (with instructions on how to process it), and more than 630 lbs. of meth "with a high level of purity." 

Some of the drugs were said to be coming to the U.S., with the set of raids throwing a wrench in a very elaborate (and global) operation.

Mexican marines state that intelligence was gathered showing that fentanyl precursors were coming into Mexico from China (through a company in Hong Kong), and that they were shipped from a port in Japan to Baja, California. 

According to experts who spoke to the AP back in September, the current pandemic has likely made drug busts at the southern border easier due to both increased security and reduced traffic. Providing evidence for this claim, seizures of fentanyl are up 465 percent in 2020 as compared to 2019.

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