Drug Dealer Steals 60 Pounds Of Meth From Cops During Failed Sting

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A sting operation went sideways on April 19 when a suspected drug dealer made off with 60 pounds of methamphetamine that belonged to a California sheriff’s narcotics division, authorities say.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office is working to track down the stolen meth, which is worth between $150,000 and $210,000, after a suspected drug trafficker fled the scene of an undercover sting operation, Fox 11 reported. Authorities set up the “sale” to identify traffickers, meeting with the suspect at approximately 4:00 p.m., the outlet continued.

“During the operation, undercover deputies met with a suspect who wanted to purchase 27 kilos of methamphetamine. After the transaction, the suspect drove away and deputies from the Gang Task Force attempted a vehicle stop. The suspect failed to yield, and a pursuit was initiated. Due to the high speeds and suspect’s disregard for public safety, deputies lost sight of the vehicle,” a press release from the sheriff’s office stated.

The Riverside and San Bernardino County area was once commonly referred to as the “methamphetamine capital of the United States” due to the large number of methamphetamine laboratories located within the region, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center. An increase in law enforcement pressured forced many of the labs, which were largely operated by Mexican drug-trafficking organizations, out of the two counties.

Due to its proximity to the southern border, however, and its prime location outside of Los Angeles and San Diego, Riverside has remained one of the largest centers of drug smuggling and distribution in the United States, according to the California Highlands Addiction Treatment Center. (RELATED: Border Patrol Busts Truck Smuggling $18 Million Of Meth)

In 2022, more than six million fentanyl pills were seized in Riverside County as well as 12,000 pounds of methamphetamine, 242 pounds of heroin, 3,000 pounds of cocaine and 260,000 pounds of marijuana, ABC 7 reported.