SAN MARCOS, Calif. - Federal and local authorities have arrested two dozen people suspected of drug dealing and seized $1 million worth of high-grade methamphetamine.
Several raids Thursday morning ended the five-month undercover investigation targeting two gangs believed to be involved, authorities said.
''They went out and dismantled two gangs. It seriously jeopardized their operation,'' said Special Agent Vince Rice, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration. ''When you arrest that many people you take away their core.''
The 18 pounds of methamphetamine seized was a higher grade of purity - concentrations of 94 percent to 100 percent - compared to with the 40 percent common on the street, Rice said.
Also seized during the investigation were 78 grams of heroin and 157 pounds of marijuana.
Authorities have also taken 14 children into protective custody. Some of the children were present during drug transactions with undercover agents as props to make the deal appear less conspicuous, said Deputy District Attorney Thomas Manning.