A major methamphetamine bust centered on Louisiana has resulted in the arrest of 18 people, many of them involved in the racing industry, according to authorities.
The multi-agency Combined Anti-drug Team (CAT) swooped on Monday after an 18-month operation, called Operation Havana Speed, serving 11 search warrants and making the arrests in the Vinton-Starks area.
Three operating meth labs were busted, allegedly operated by illegal residents.
Lake Charles police chief Donald Dixon said most of those arrested had ties to the horse racing industry, describing it as a “common theme”.
Dixon said a large quantity of steroids allegedly for horses were seized and that matter had been turned over to racing authorities.
The operation was launched following an influx of methamphetamine into southwest Louisiana.
It was a multi-agency effort, involving the Lake Charles Police Department, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana State Police, the FBI, Homeland Security investigations, US Border Patrol, the Sulphur Police Department, the Vinton Police Department, and the US Marshals Service.
About 120 personnel were involved in the raids, with arrests in Louisiana and Texas.
The investigation was said to involve surveillance and multiple undercover purchases of crystal meth.
Bonds of up to $US3.2 million were set for those arrested, and investigations are continuing.
A full list of those arrested and the charges they face can be found here at Americanpress.com