Authorities have arrested nearly 1,200 people in a coast-to-coast crackdown on Mexico’s deadly drug trafficking cartel, La Familia Michoacana, reports the Los Angeles Times. Arrests were made in California, Texas, Georgia and numerous other U.S. locations as part of “Project Coronado,” a three-year probe that led to the largest single strike ever in the United States against the Mexican cartels.
Although it is a relative newcomer to Mexico’s drug underworld, La Familia has been one of the most violent and quick to attack Mexican troops and lawmakers who have tried to halt its expansion, U.S. officials say. It also has been locked in a violent struggle with a group known as the Zetas, former allies who serve as the armed wing of a Gulf cartel. La Familia has been linked to hundreds of drug-related killings in Mexico, including the kidnapping and torture and murders of 12 federal agents in the western state of Michoacan, La Familia’s home base, in July. Its U.S. operation is centered in Atlanta, although it has a presence in many cities, including L.A. and Dallas.