SHERMAN, Texas – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, Stephen J. Cox, announced today the results of two Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operations targeting international drug and firearm trafficking between Mexico and Texas. Operations Trap Mansion and Two Birds and One Stone were a sustained state-wide effort of numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies from throughout Texas spanning from October of 2018 to June of 2020.
Operations Trap Mansion and Two Birds One Stone targeted several large Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) drug trafficking cells located in the Dallas, Texas area. These cartel cells would also purchase quantities of firearms which they would smuggle back to Mexico along with bulk U.S. currency that the Sinaloa Cartel and CJNG would use to conduct acts of violence, kidnappings and extortions in Mexico. Trap Mansion and Two Birds One Stone specifically aimed to interdict trailers loaded with quantities of illegal drugs imported from Mexico across the Texas/Mexico border, and the seizure of firearms smuggled to Mexico from Texas.
The agencies’ efforts resulted in the indictment of 96 defendants in federal court for charges related to drug trafficking, continuing criminal enterprise, unlawful possession of firearms, using firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, money laundering and other federal criminal violations. Further, during these operations law enforcement seized 49 firearms, of which, several were AR-15 style rifles and multiple short-barreled weapons that were not registered as required by the National Firearms Act, stolen from local Texans, or otherwise illegally possessed. Law enforcement also seized approximately 511.9 kilograms of methamphetamine, 40 kilograms of cocaine, 19.3 kilograms of heroin, 67 kilograms of marijuana, 19 kilograms of controlled pharmaceuticals, 800 grams of fentanyl, and approximately $6.6 million in assets.
U.S. Attorney Cox stated: “Today’s announcement of the results of Operations Trap Mansion and Two Birds One Stone represents the pinnacle of sustained multi-agency cooperation focused on the dual threat of narcotics and firearms trafficking. We will continue to collaborate with all of our law enforcement partners to stem the flood of deadly drugs and illegal firearms, and to punish those who seek to profit from trafficking contraband.”
U.S. Attorney Cox commended the investigative efforts of, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service, Flower Mound Police Department, Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lewisville Police Department. Multiple local police departments and sheriff’s offices throughout the state assisted throughout the operation.
“Criminals cannot hide. While these individuals may have enjoyed a lavish lifestyle brought on the backs of those struggling with addiction, these operations send a clear message that the story only ends with confiscated drugs, assets and justice served,” said Special Agent in Charge Eduardo Chavez of the DEA Dallas Field Division. “I am especially proud of our law enforcement partners that leverage subject-matter expertise to arrest and prosecute over 90 individuals whose actions have negatively impacted so many lives. DEA Dallas will continue to do our part to make our neighborhoods throughout the Eastern District of Texas safer for all our families.”
These operations were part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program. OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets. Prosecutions arising from these operations are part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting firearm use and possession crimes; prioritizes prosecuting persons who make false statements when attempting to obtain firearms; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives concerning persons who attempt to obtain firearms illegally; coordinates responses to persons prevented from obtaining firearms for mental health reasons; and ensures the use of modern intelligence tools and technology to focus on the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.