MCSO and DEA's Operation Special Delivery
PHOENIX - Two suspected ringleaders of a 5-state drug operation will arrive in Phoenix and be booked into jail Thursday night.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio says his deputies will return from New York City with two suspects in tow.
Cedric Frater and Lennox Johnson have been linked to an interstate operation that used UPS and FedEx trucks to move thousands of pounds of marijuana.
Earlier this month, sheriff's deputies and DEA agents served search warrants and made arrests in Maricopa and Pinal County, as well as New York City, Cleveland, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. The arrests came after a year-long operation.
23 people were arrested, 3 of whom were in the country illegally. Authorities also seized $1 million in cash, 17 vehicles, stolen weapons, and a large amount of marijuana.
Sheriff Arpaio says Phoenix served as the distribution hub for the drug ring.
"Drug traffickers would set up shop here, obtain the marijuana from Mexico, and deliver the drugs to other cities," said Sheriff Arpaio.
"If you have somebody on the inside of any criminal organization, it's always easier to facilitate your crime," said DEA Special Agent Doug Coleman.
The investigation is ongoing.
Follow this story: 22 Arrested in 5-State Drug Sting