PHOENIX (Tuesday, December 20, 2011) -- Every Arizonan should be grateful to know that because of one Tempe patrol officer’s vigilance in observing a drug deal and making an arrest, Operation Crank Call was begun. That officer’s work was the genesis of this operation, which involved the dedicated work of many more law enforcement professionals. The result is the dismantling of a significant drug trafficking operation of the Sinaloa Cartel that has resulted in the seizure of an estimated 12 million dollars in illegal drugs and another 7.8 million dollars in cash. It is, frankly an obscene amount of drugs and money that have been taken off the streets, and those numbers reflect the horrific scope of the drug trafficking problem in our community.
As Attorney General, my job and that of my friend and colleague Bill Montgomery will be to vigorously prosecute –the subjects arrested in this operation. We will pursue this case with determination and dedication to convicting the perpetrators and keeping them off our streets and in prison, where they belong. In fact, one suspect has already pled guilty and has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Aggressive prosecution is crucial because the streets of our cities are increasingly becoming an even larger marketplace for meth, marijuana, cocaine and heroin.
These drug traffickers are conducting a dirty business. Their customers are both adults and children, their products are poison, and their profits enrich Mexican drug lords enabling them to continue this cycle of criminality, abuse and death.
It is an outrage, and as Americans we must demand that this stop. As Arizonans, we must repeat the call for a secure international border. We have heard reports of a drop in apprehensions of illegal immigrants, which is welcome news; but the success of Operation Crank Call proves yet again that criminal drug traffickers are still all-too-active in our neighborhoods. Once again, I urge the federal government to increase its presence at the border, secure the weak spots where fencing would help bring operational control to the border, and give local law enforcement agencies more of the tools they need to combat this growing scourge.