PAINESVILLE, Ohio (WJW) — Local authorities are calling it one of the biggest drug busts in recent history.
“We are happy to be part of the effort,” said Lake County Sheriff Frank Leonbruno.
Leonbruno reacted to the FBI Cleveland’s recent drug bust of more than 88 pounds of fentanyl, worth a street value of $5.2 million.
“People think ‘Oh, it’s the southern border, it doesn’t affect us,’ but it does. The cartels from Mexico are coming up either coast,” said Leonbruno.
Multiple raids were conducted on drug houses in Cleveland and Painesville.
Leonbruno said the large-scale investigation headed up by the FBI’s Cartel Gang & Laundering Task Force was a collaborative effort with local police departments.
“Our SWAT team and our technology was used to move into that area. Our law enforcement were made aware of when they were going in and we were activated,” said Leonbruno.
In addition to the drugs, multiple guns were seized and two of the drug cartel’s operatives were taken into custody.
According to the FBI, the net amount of fentanyl in this operation would be enough to kill 20 million people.
Leonbruno said cartels are increasingly smuggling drugs into the United States and across Northeast Ohio.
“We are in a long corridor, Interstate 90 and Route 2. It’s a great area to bring drugs through. and there are a lot of drugs moving into our area,” said Leonbruno.
The two people arrested were not named and no charges have been announced.