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In one recent case, ice was found inside fire extinguishers.

Other recent investigations also have led to the discovery of ice mailed to a Gulfport post office, shipped to a Gulfport condo and stored in a Waveland warehouse. In another case, a man used commercial vehicles to bring ice to Hancock and Pearl River counties.

Several drug runners prosecuted in the past year told drug agents they were paid $3,000 to $5,000 to deliver shipments of ice to South Mississippi. Most at first claimed they didn’t know what they were delivering or knew it was drugs but they didn’t know what type, and later accepted a plea agreement.

The arrest of a cartel associate in August 2012 is just one example of a DEA bust of a drug racketeering enterprise coordinated by a cartel member, Comeaux said. The arrest led to the seizure of 101.4 pounds of meth and put four people behind bars.

The DEA had received a tip that a woman from San Jose was in Gulfport and would be going to Mobile to meet with a meth transporter. Undercover agents followed Maria Guadalupe Mendoza, 37, to Mobile and witnessed the transfer of drugs in a fast-food parking lot next to a hotel. As the suspects drove away undercover agents split up, followed them and took them into custody.

Mendoza was a high-ranking member of Jalisco New Generation cartel, Comeaux said.

Jefferson Daniel Silver, 27, of Rialto, Calif., later admitted he had put the meth in a duffel bag and taken a cross-country trip with his mother, an over-the-road truck driver. His mother apparently didn’t know they were hauling meth.

Mendoza, sentenced in July, is serving a prison term of 22 years. Silver was sentenced to 11 years and five months. Two other California residents also were convicted.


Information from: The Sun Herald,