As part of the latest sweep, 429 people were arrested and nearly 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg) of marijuana, 247 pounds (112 kg) of cocaine, $5.8 million in U.S. currency and 141 weapons were seized, the Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration said.
The suspects were charged with various offenses, including conspiracy and distribution of illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamines.
The sweep is the latest effort by Mexico and the Obama administration to try to clamp down on drug trafficking along the border where violence has escalated. Pressure has grown on the two governments to tackle the problems.
But tensions between the two countries has also risen in recent days after the fatal shooting of a Mexican teenager by a U.S. border patrol agent, an incident that prompted a formal complaint by Mexico and an FBI investigation.
The boy was shot on the Mexican side of the border in Ciudad Juarez as several youths were running from U.S. border patrol agents. But some U.S. officials said the agents may have feared for their safety and that the group was trying to illegally enter the United States.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder expressed regret for the death of the teenager. But he said the relationship between the two countries was still good.
“There is a bond that exists between Mexico and the United States,” Holder told reporters during a news conference to announce the drug arrests. “We have shared interests and I think that is what we focus on and that is what will keep this relationship strong.”
Source: Jeremy Pelofsky forReuters