Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force operations “Trap Mansion” and “Two Birds One Stone” deliver strong blow to international drug smugglers

 

Date: November 4, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Sherman, Texas – Two Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operations targeting international drug and firearm trafficking between Mexico and Texas resulted in several indictments. Operations "Trap Mansion" and "Two Birds One Stone" were a sustained statewide effort of numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies from throughout Texas spanning from October 2018 to June 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.

The operations and investigations were conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 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.

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.