Meth ring with Middle East connections broken up

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A major methamphetamine supply system in the U..S. and Canada has been disrupted by an investigation that has resulted in 67 arrests and seizing tons of illegal chemicals. The Los Angeles Times reports that many alleged money launderers and go-betweens involved are of Middle Eastern origin, including New York grocery owner Alaa Odeh, whose uncle was charged in Israel’s West Bank with being a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group. The 18-month Operation North Star probe focused on shipments of pseudoephedrine — a nasal decongestant that is a key ingredient in methamphetamine — from three Canadian companies to the Southwest. Indictments were unsealed yesterday in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Most shipments were trucked through Detroit, often hidden in legitimate loads of bottled water, bubble gum and other goods. The main brokers were in Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit and Los Angeles.,1,1621445.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dnation


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