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Phoenix One Of 8 Cities Designated By DEA As Meth Hub

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has designated Phoenix and seven other cities as methamphetamine transportation hubs.

The Department of Justice says Operation Crystal Shield will focus on parts of the country where meth is trafficked and distributed.

The other cities in the program are Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans and St. Louis.

DEA spokesman Michael Miller says the agency will devote $1 million to assisting state and local law enforcement with investigation and interdiction.

"We’re going to really focus on leveraging our capabilities which include network analysis and our national license plate reader program,” Miller said.

Miller said the agency has a targeting model it uses to identify vehicles that may be transporting meth.

DEA Field Divisions in the eight cities accounted for more than 75% of methamphetamine seized in the U.S. in 2019.

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.