Authorities say they have broken up a Mexican drug cartel's attempt to set up a crystal meth operation in the D.C. region.
Nine illegal immigrants were indicted and charged with trying to distribute more than 50 pounds of crystal meth –- it was easily the largest seizure of meth in D.C. history –- and MPD officers went undercover to set up the sting.
John Torres, with the D.C. office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says the nine men have ties to La Familia, a drug cartel based out of Mexico.
"They use threat, fear, violence, intimidation –- they will resort to violence. This is a dangerous cartel," Torres says.
Authorities say they believe La Familia was trying to set up a meth distribution ring in the Washington area, which is viewed, they say, as an untapped market.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says at one point during the undercover sting she considered pulling her officers out because of how dangerous the operation was.