Mexico seizes industrial-scale meth, fentanyl lab in capital
MEXICO CITY (AP) - Soldiers and police officers in Mexico seized an industrial-scale meth and fentanyl laboratory that was so large it scared investigators, prosecutors said on Sunday.
The laboratory had about two stories high chemical preparation barrels, in each of which 5,000 kilograms of raw material could be processed, said Felipe de Jesus Gallo from the federal prosecutor's office.
"In the attorney general's office, we have no record of any seizures of this size," said Gallo.
The mega-lab was discovered last week in a shop promoting industrial cleaning products on the outskirts of Mexico City.
Behind the shop window was a warehouse with tall stacks of barrels and 1,000 liter tanks that held precursor chemicals that Gallo said could be used to make methamphetamines and the synthetic opioid fentanyl.
The coordinated series of raids, code-named "Blue" also hit other objects in the northern state of Durango, Mexico City, and the surrounding state of Mexico.
On property in Mexico City, authorities arrested an engineer who allegedly built and operated laboratories for an organized crime group. A drum containing a precursor to fentanyl and written processing instructions were found.
Authorities also found 290 kilograms of "high purity" meth in a laboratory raid in the northern state of Sonora. Gallo said some of the drugs are for the United States.
The tying up of the raids was evidence that the entire operation was carried out by individuals tied to a group in Sinaloa that included the drug cartel of the same name.
Mexican Marines said they had gathered information suggesting that fentanyl precursors are being imported from China through a company in Hong Kong. The Marines tracked a shipment of containers passing through a Japanese port to the Bsen California seaport in Ensenada. The Marines said they found an unknown amount of three precursor chemicals in the containers that could be converted to fentanyl through "a simple process".
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