This Week in History 3/5/04

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March 9, 1982: The largest cocaine seizure ever to date raises US awareness of the Medellin cartel. The seizure of 3,906 pounds of cocaine, valued at over $100 million wholesale, from a Miami International Airport hanger permanently alters US law enforcement's approach towards the drug trade. They realize Colombian traffickers must be working together because no single trafficker could be behind a shipment this large.

March 10, 1984: By tracking the illegal sale of massive amounts of ether to Colombia, the DEA and Colombian police discover Tranquilandia, a laboratory operation deep in the Colombian jungle. In the subsequent bust, law enforcement officials destroy 14 laboratory complexes, which contain 13.8 metric tons of cocaine, 7 airplanes, and 11,800 drums of chemicals, conservatively estimated at $1.2 billion. This bust confirms the consolidation of the Medellin cartel's manufacturing operation.

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