AUSTIN – A months long, joint investigation between Austin Police, Round Rock Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Cedar Park Police, U.S. Marshals, Travis County and Williamson County Sheriff Offices, I.C.E. and the F.B.I. resulted in the arrests of 37-people in Austin Wednesday all of whom are charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs including Methamphetamine, Heroin, Cocaine and Marijuana.
Federal Agents say J.T. Body Shop at 3506 Darby Road in east Austin was a store front for a large-scale drug distribution center.
Photographs released from law enforcement officials showed 75 kilograms of Meth, 20-kilograms of Cocaine hidden inside an 18-wheeler truck. Officials say they also found a million dollars in cash.
Federal authorities told KVUE News that these arrests brought down two Mexican drug networks operating in the Austin area.
It’s believed the cartels were distributing some of the drugs locally. Some of the drugs were being stored in Austin and shipped to other states.
"A large scale organization, very well structured, very well organized, with the shots being called by bosses in Mexico," said DEA agent Greg Thrash.
The body shop is located in an industrial area about a quarter of a mile from a neighborhood.
One man who has worked in the area for three years told KVUE Thursday that the neighborhood was drug-infested when he first got there but says he is seeing some improvement.
“The city's been cleaning it up. I see a lot more Hippies. I see a lot more people riding bikes. It's more friendlier so I didn't expect for this to be one of my neighboring businesses”, said Travis to KVUE.