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Colombian police team up with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for a major drug bust in Colombia. Government agents have arrested 26 people in the action, dubbed "Operation Storm."
Colombia's National Police announced on Thursday it has dismantled a drug ring that smuggled up to two tons of cocaine per month to Mexico and the U.S. in small planes of the country's Air Force.
With the help of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), officers arrested 25 Colombians and 1 Panamanian in "Operation Storm."
Five Air Force officials were arrested on suspicion of having helped ship tons of drugs in official planes that passed unnoticed by government agents.
Commander of Colombia's National Police, General Oscar Naranjo, said that four of those arrested are wanted in the U.S.
[General Oscar Naranjo, Commander, Colombia National Police]:
"This second stage has been called 'Operation Storm' and we have captured 26 drug traffickers, 4 of whom have extradition petitions. After a 2-year investigation, we have carried out 21 searches in the past few hours, particularly in Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Cartagena, Monteria and Bogota."
Colombia ranks among the world's top cocaine producers.
The country has seen a dramatic fall in violence and cocaine production over the past decade thanks to a U.S.-backed military offensive under former president Alvaro Uribe.
Current President Juan Manuel Santos has vowed to continue the effort.
In May, Santos issued a new security plan aimed at breaking up criminal gangs, minimizing drug trafficking and improving security in the next three years.