Forty-eight people have been arrested in connection with what law officers are calling a drug-trafficking ring centered in Galveston County, federal prosecutors announced on Wednesday.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas during a press conference in Houston said the arrests had been made as part of a 31-month investigation dubbed "Operation Wrecking Ball."
A federal grand jury returned a 43-count indictment in November. The indictment was unsealed Wednesday. It alleges the people indicted "engaged in a variety of cocaine and heroin transactions," according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The investigation was underway between Feb. 1, 2016 and April 19, 2018. It uncovered an operation in which drugs were smuggled into the United States from Colombia and Mexico, federal authorities allege.
The drugs were distributed from Houston to Atlanta, Buffalo, New York City, Miami, New Orleans and Norfolk, Virginia, according to the news release.
The case is so extensive the U.S. Attorney's Office has assigned a full-time prosecutor to Galveston in connection to the investigation, according to the news release.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the Galveston Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Houston Police Department and the Galveston County Sheriff's Office conducted the investigation, authorities said.
This is a developing story. Check back later for more updates.