Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

3 tons of key methamphetamine ingredient seized at LAX

Meth Precursor LAX April 2012
Federal agents at LAX seized nearly 3 tons of a key ingredient of methamphetamine that was bound for central Mexico, officials said Tuesday.

The two shipments of methylamine chloride, a controlled substance used in the manufacture of pesticides, solvents and pharmaceutical products, originated in China. They were accurately labeled but lacked the required paperwork from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

“It raised a bunch of red flags,” said Jaime Ruiz, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “It was huge. They didn’t have any permits.”

Testing confirmed the contents of the 80 plastic bags stacked on pallets, which arrived in LAX air cargo April 19 and 23. If used to make meth, it had a street value of $40 million, authorities said.

Border agents are seeing more air and sea shipments of the chemical, as opposed to land smuggling.

“Now it seems like the cartels are using other methods,” said Ruiz, adding that the 5,700-pound seizure of methylamine chloride is “one of the biggest so far out of LAX.”

Corrosive and flammable, the white powdery substance is also used to make the drug ecstasy.


May Day protests: Thousands to participate in rallies across L.A.

Human error, poor planning contributed to blackout, report finds

Stepdad held boy's head underwater during swim lesson, police say

-- Bettina Boxall

Photo: Federal officers seized bags containing 5,700 pounds of methylamine chloride, a chemical used to make methamphetamine. Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Comments () | Archives (0)


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: