Multination drug sweep nets 2,331 arrests
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CNN) -- A sweeping drug bust involving the
collaboration of 25 nations has resulted in 2,331 arrests and the seizure of more
than 10,000 pounds (4,966 kilograms) of cocaine, drug enforcement agents said
Michael Vigil of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said the cooperation
of 25 Central and South American and Caribbean countries in the 17-day operation
-- Operation Conquistador -- was as important as both the drugs seized and the drug
"Operation Conquistador was a great success in accomplishing its objectives
progress toward a comprehensive regional strategy, facilitating the exchange of information,
integrating all entities having counter-drug responsibilities and creating an operational nexus
between the Caribbean and Central and South America," Vigil said.
In addition to the cocaine, agents also seized 122.5 pounds (55.6 kilograms)
heroin and 362.5 metric tons of marijuana.
Agents destroyed thousands of pounds of coca leaf and chemicals used to
process that leaf into cocaine.
The operations took place in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador,
Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Montserrat, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis,
Antigua, Anguilla, St. Martin, British Virgin islands, Barbuda, Grenada, Barbados,
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Aruba, Curacao, Jamaica, Haiti,
Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.