Police Conduct Huge Drug Bust Across the Basin

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

The bad weather didn't stop a huge drug bust across the Basin on Wednesday morning. Eight different law enforcement agencies braved the frigid temperatures to track down suspected drug dealers.

Midland Police Chief Price Robinson told NewsWest 9, this was the biggest bust since 1999,
the end result of an investigation lasting since August with 137 officers working together.

Thanks to their efforts, 61 people accused of drug trafficking were arrested Wednesday morning. Overall, 96 people have been arrested since August.

The bust was a combined crackdown by the Midland Police Department, the El Paso division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Midland and Ector County Sheriff's Offices, U.S. Marshals, DPS, FBI and Homeland Security.

DEA officials deployed their Mobile Enforcement Team at the request of Midland Police back in August and their undercover agents were placed inside the six local circles of traffickers until they found out what they needed to know to help bring them to justice.

"Our agents using the same investigative techniques infiltrated those organizations and today we can say that those six local drug trafficking organizations have been dismantled," DEA Special Agent in Charge, Joseph Arabit, said.

NewsWest 9 also learned that Midland Police arrested another accused drug trafficker during Wednesday's press conference, bringing the total arrests on Wednesday to 62.

As for what will happen to them, attorneys told NewsWest 9 at the press conference that they will be prosecuted in federal court in Midland and will receive their trials over the next four months.