WAAY 31 I-TEAM: Federal agents working to fight drug cartel presence in North Alabama

Officials say the suspects were using the U.S. Postal Service to mail drugs across the country.

Posted: Oct 16, 2019 6:50 PM
Updated: Oct 17, 2019 7:39 AM

The WAAY 31 I-TEAM is digging deeper into a drug bust that sent dozens of people to jail. The arrests are part of the fight against a growing cartel presence in North Alabama.

Investigators said drug agents smuggled drugs across the border from Mexico into California. Agents believe the men then used the U.S. Postal Service to send meth to North Alabama.

Clay Morris with the DEA called the 38 people facing federal charges the first step in stopping the cartels from bringing dangerous drugs to North Alabama.

"We've got to find the head of the snake and cut that head off. That's how we are going to solve this problem and that's how we target those members of those cartels," he said.

Last month, Morris traveled to Sinaloa, Mexico, to learn more about the drug operation. He explained how state police risked their lives to show them firsthand the lengths the cartels are going to make drugs like methamphetamine.

"The gentlemen that helped us on that trip showed us and explained it. They literally put their lives on the line everyday just to be a state policeman. In the state of Sinaloa, they are dedicated to helping us," he said.

Morris explained how the CJNG Cartel, which is an offshoot of the Sinaloa cartel, works.

"That's where we had the CJNG Cartel moving it across the border into California...California into our region," he said.

Morris said with the support of the state police in Sinaloa, they will work to bring the people at the top of these organizations to justice.

"They are dedicated to helping us. Don't let anyone tell you others. Are there corrupt individuals in Mexico? Sure. But, there are those putting their life on the line everyday and have bounties on their head because they are fighting CJNG and the Sinaloa cartel," he said.

The operation lasted more than six months. It led to 74 pounds of meth plus cocaine, along with illegal guns and money. All the agencies told WAAY 31 they're not stopping and some of the men picked up face charges that could send them to prison for the rest of their lives.

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Florence
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Fayetteville
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Scottsboro
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 159439

Reported Deaths: 2699
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23443377
Mobile16934315
Tuscaloosa10414140
Montgomery10298197
Madison939496
Shelby743663
Baldwin669469
Lee655065
Calhoun462161
Marshall441150
Etowah431251
Morgan418235
Houston418034
DeKalb346129
Elmore322753
St. Clair299942
Limestone289330
Walker282392
Talladega267435
Cullman250824
Lauderdale231342
Jackson217515
Autauga207431
Franklin206131
Colbert204132
Russell19533
Blount194225
Chilton189332
Dallas187227
Coffee179511
Dale177251
Covington175529
Escambia173030
Clarke135317
Chambers135244
Pike134413
Tallapoosa133087
Marion109729
Barbour10339
Marengo102522
Butler101340
Winston93713
Geneva9167
Lawrence86132
Pickens86018
Bibb84314
Randolph82916
Hale77730
Clay74912
Washington74912
Cherokee74514
Henry7196
Lowndes71428
Bullock64917
Monroe64810
Crenshaw60930
Perry5936
Fayette58413
Cleburne5738
Wilcox57012
Conecuh56113
Macon53720
Lamar5065
Sumter47321
Choctaw39212
Greene34616
Coosa2053
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 249866

Reported Deaths: 3163
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby36685565
Davidson31975343
Knox1284891
Rutherford12017115
Hamilton11867109
Williamson718756
Sumner6184112
Wilson473159
Putnam445657
Montgomery424057
Out of TN415136
Sullivan381946
Madison381479
Bradley361923
Washington356951
Maury338938
Blount337436
Sevier336423
Robertson262842
Hamblen247548
Tipton238123
Unassigned22615
Dyer224732
Gibson217244
Coffee192325
Hardeman190533
Greene181252
Obion179522
Trousdale17768
Bedford174520
Dickson170719
Fayette169825
Anderson169713
McMinn165937
Lawrence164520
Loudon164311
Cumberland161327
Wayne16047
Carter158334
Weakley157326
Jefferson156421
Monroe147228
Warren144910
Lauderdale144117
Henderson142126
Hardin140420
Macon134825
Roane13217
Franklin130220
Haywood129728
Overton122917
Hawkins122625
White119414
Johnson11577
Marshall115710
Carroll115326
McNairy113427
Rhea112418
Cocke108014
Cheatham106911
Campbell103512
Bledsoe10264
Smith99413
Lake9873
Giles98336
Fentress91811
Lincoln9173
Crockett87020
Hickman81015
Henry80211
Marion7839
DeKalb73717
Chester73314
Decatur66311
Grainger6124
Grundy57511
Union5463
Claiborne5286
Polk51713
Humphreys4584
Jackson4535
Morgan4437
Unicoi4333
Houston42317
Benton4219
Cannon4212
Lewis4185
Clay40615
Scott3865
Sequatchie3472
Stewart33611
Meigs3296
Perry3082
Pickett2748
Moore2722
Van Buren2081
Hancock1213

Community Events