U.S. federal prosecutors have charged dozens of people across the nation with taking part in major drug trafficking operations, including a narcotics ring run by a California prison inmate, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday.
In all, 195 people from 10 states face drug charges in several cases filed this week in federal courts in the East, South and Midwest and Alaska, the department said in a statement.
“These cases represent just a fraction of the work our agents and prosecutors are doing every day to target, disrupt and dismantle the cartels and drug trafficking organizations that are poisoning the American people," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in the statement. The number of drug overdoses in the United States has soared since the COVID-19 pandemic. A record 106,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2021, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).