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Feds, Local Police Combine On Massive Meth Bust; 11 Arrested

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Hands hold bag of crystal methamphetamine and pipe

Hands hold bag of crystal methamphetamine and pipe (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Federal authorities in San Francisco have announced one of the largest seizures of methamphetamine in U.S. history: more than 570 pounds, with an estimated street value of $6 million.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said Monday that the drug haul was seized on Friday while authorities were arresting 11 people on federal and state drug, money laundering and weapons charges.

Five of those arrested were charged in a federal grand jury indictment Thursday with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of the drug and money laundering. The indictment was unsealed on Monday.

Haag said those defendants made initial appearances before a federal magistrate in San Jose on Friday and are due to return for further pretrial proceedings this week.

The charges carry sentences of up to life in prison if the defendants are convicted.

Six other arrestees face state charges including possessing methamphetamine, possessing the drug with intent to distribute it and possessing a stolen firearm.

The prosecution stems from an extensive investigation by federal and state agencies together with law enforcement agencies from an array of South Bay and Central Valley cities and counties, Haag said.

Participating local entities included agencies from the cities of San Jose, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Salinas, and Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, Stanislaus and Yolo counties, Haag said.

Federal drug, immigration and tax investigators and the California Department of Justice also took part in the probe.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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