The bust occurred on Tuesday at a ranch in Tlajomulco de Zuniga, located just outside Guadalajara in western Mexico. Upon discovery, authorities reportedly found dozens of blue barrels filled with pure powder meth.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle
, this "historic seizure" equates to half of all meth seizures worldwide in 2009.
Announced late Wed., authorities did not say what drug gangs were responsible for the astonishing amount of meth or where the intended destination was, but authorities did say the meth was set for packaging.
"This is a historic seizure," Gen. Gilberto Hernandez Andreu, military commander of the region, said, reported the LA Times
. In addition to the 15 tons of meth, five kilos of crystal, and materials typically used in the production of the meth were seized; including equipment.
No arrests were made, reported BBC News
. Some media reports say no one was found on the ranch at the time of the bust.
The LA Times reported the volume of meth was worth $4 billion and it appeared a "major" meth production lab was involved.
New York Times
reported officials in the U.S. and United Nations are concerned with the quantity of the seize because it illustrates the high level of organization and how efficient meth production has grown despite efforts to thwart the illegal industry.
“The big thing it shows is the sheer capacity that these superlabs have in Mexico,” said Rusty Payne, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration. “When we see one lab with the capability to produce such a mass tonnage of meth, it begs a question: What else is out there?”
NYT reported that the supply of meth in the U.S. is growing, but demand is falling; in 2011 seizures at the Mexican border increased 87 percent. While statistics say meth use has declined in the U.S.
, the presence of the drug is still a serious issue.
This massive amount of meth
seized in Mexico may not have been designated for the U.S. market. Some officials say Sinaloa cartel may be behind the 15 tons of meth, and noted the cartel has "tentacles" on all continents.
According to some experts, this seizure won't change the dynamics much in drug distribution, at least not enough to have a long-term impact.
“It’s important to keep the seizure in perspective,” said Eric Olson, a security expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “It’s huge. Eye-popping. But seizures, even huge ones, don’t generally change the demand for the drug in the long run. If a seizure of this magnitude raises the street price, consumption may go down for a time, but it is only a matter of time until the market adjusts and the supply comes back up.”