WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Tuesday said arrests have shut down a large-scale heroin and cocaine trafficking organization south of the border.
"Operation Jump Start" targeted the organization, which typically shipped multi-kilogram amounts of Colombian heroin hidden in car batteries from Guatemala to Mexico and the United States, DEA Administrator Karen Tandy said.
She said Operation Jump Start represents a first for DEA: disrupting an established trend involving the flow of Colombian heroin on a specific route from Guatemala through Mexico to Texas and eventually to New York and other parts of the United States.
Operation Jump Start was a highly orchestrated multijurisdictional, multinational takedown resulting in 100 arrests thus far, the DEA said.
Colombian national Humberto Palaez Escobar, also known as "Beto," a key target in the organization's leadership, was captured Tuesday in Colombia.
Manuel Linares-Sandoval and Javier Reyes, both Guatemalans, and Alirio Munoz-Munoz, a Colombian, were arrested on provisional arrest warrants Tuesday in Guatemala.
Carlos Enrique Gonzalez-Hoyos and Edgar Nicolas Romero-Ganan were also arrested on provisional warrants Tuesday.