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6 people held in a drug-smuggling operation from Los Angeles to Australia

6 people held in a drug-smuggling operation from Los Angeles to Australia
Authorities found 1.7 tons of drugs concealed in a shipment of loud speakers headed to Australia. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Federal authorities seized more than 1.7 tons of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin hidden in two containers that were being shipped to Australia from the Los Angeles-Long Beach seaport, officials announced Thursday.

Six people, two Americans and four Australians, with ties to a transnational crime syndicate based in the U.S. were arrested by Australian Federal Police in connection with the shipment, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

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The drugs were concealed in dozens of metal boxes that were declared as “single loudspeakers,” CBP said. But the containers actually held 3,810 pounds of methamphetamine, nearly 56 pounds of cocaine and about a dozen pounds of heroin.

Authorities discovered the drugs on Jan. 11, touting the seizure as having dealt a “significant blow” to the criminal group behind the shipment.

“Along with our law enforcement partners here and around the world, we continue in a day-to-day battle against the blight of methamphetamine that continues to devastate our communities,” Joseph Macias, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles, said in a statement.

“Through a collaborative effort — pooling our information, resources and expertise — we are keeping this dangerous contraband from reaching our streets and potentially saving lives.”

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