MEXICO CITY – Mexican authorities have seized a large-scale methamphetamine laboratory in western Mexico, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency said Thursday.
DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy said the lab was discovered on a ranch in Tlajomulco de Zuniga, just outside the city of Guadalajara in western Jalisco state, on Aug. 1.
Authorities arrested four people and seized about 220 pounds of finished methamphetamine, 790 gallons of solvents and chemicals and four barrels of iodine, during the raid.
A large hydraulic press used to finish the methamphetamine product and chemicals used to manufacture generic cough syrup were also seized, Tandy said in a news release.
Mexican authorities did not immediately comment on the raid.
Mexican drug cartels, who have long smuggled cocaine and marijuana, are increasingly involved in the meth trade, supplying a large number of addicts in the United States and a growing number of users south of the border.
Tandy said Jalisco Judicial Police officers had received a week of training from the DEA prior to the seizure.
In May, the two countries outlined a comprehensive anti-meth initiative that included training for nearly 1,000 Mexican police.
DEA training efforts continue with police precincts throughout Mexico, Tandy said.
"Our new anti-meth initiative with Mexico is already making a difference in our fight to combat this deadly and highly addictive drug," Tandy said.
Restrictions in the U.S. on the sale of cold medicines with ingredients used to make meth have helped several states significantly reduce the number of meth labs in operation. But the gains made by shutting down local meth labs are now threatened by trafficking from superlabs in Mexico, U.S. officials have said.
Meth addiction often leads to psychotic or violent behavior and brain damage. People high on the drug will often stay awake for days.