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$16 million in meth, likely tied to cartel, seized in Tarrant County, authorities say

Officials could not say how many arrests have been made, as detectives are still investigating the case through surveillance and undercover work.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Tarrant County authorities have seized more than 1,400 pounds of liquid methamphetamine over the last five weeks, an estimated street value totaling $16 million, officials said Thursday.

Officials could not say how many arrests have been made, as detectives are still investigating the case through surveillance and undercover work.

More information about the specifics of the case was not released.

Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn confirmed that the drugs were obtained in two separate seizures. In the first seizure, which resulted in the current investigation, a police officer pulled over a vehicle that had a license plate matching a stolen vehicle.

By comparison, the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office earlier this year set a record with a 400-pound seizure of liquid meth. The combined seizures over the last month were more than three times that amount.

"This is a clear and present danger to us [in Tarrant County]," Waybourn said.

Eduardo Chavez, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Agency's Dallas division, said the seized meth was considered 99% pure. 

"For a drug user, that is putting 99% pure poison into your bodies," Chavez said.

Calvin Bond, an investigator with the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office said the seizures had all the markings of a cartel operation, which targets areas like Dallas-Fort Worth for its highway systems and proximity to Mexico.

Bond said the meth was likely produced in a lab in Mexico  "in a high-quality situation" and then converted to liquid and smuggled into the United States. Once liquid meth arrives in the United States, it is dried and crystallized into the form that is sold on the street. 

Bond said officers serving search warrants on meth cases will sometimes find a home with no furniture, just liquid meth drying in containers on the floor.

The sheriff's office, DEA, Fort Worth and Dallas police all helped in the investigation, said Waybourn, who warned drug dealers in North Texas.

"We're coming for you," the sheriff said.