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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007, 05:09 GMT
US targets Mexican drugs network
US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
Gonzales said the operation had last almost two years
The authorities in the United States say they have arrested more than 400 people and seized 18 tonnes of drugs.

The operation targeted a major Mexican drugs trafficking network.

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the arrests had been carried out over a 20-month period throughout the country, in Operation Imperial Emperor.

He said the network had been successfully dismantled and added that the success of the operation showed what co-operation could achieve.

Mr Gonzales said the ring - allegedly run by Victor Emilio Cazares Gastellum - distributed cocaine, marijuana and other drugs throughout the United States.

Mexican soldier, member of anti-drug gang team
Mexico has been fighting drugs-related violence

Speaking in San Diego, he said that the US authorities had made 66 arrests in recent days across four states.

The US authorities say that some of the drugs were transported into the US across a bridge made of sandbags, partly submerged in the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona.

As well the drugs Operation Imperial Emperor seized $6.1m in property and assets, about 100 weapons and 94 vehicles.

The news comes as the United Nations reported that Mexican cartels now dominate drugs trafficking in the US.

Last year, Mexico saw more than 2,000 people die in violence relating to drugs cartels. Some of the victims were tortured or beheaded.

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