Rochester, MN  (KROC AM News) - There was a significant local methamphetamine bust Wednesday that has connections to the well-known Sinaloa drug cartel based in Mexico.

Officers from the DEA, Minnesota BCA, Minnesota State Patrol and a regional drug task force were the primary participants in what was a two month investigation.

Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office Captain Vince Scheckel says two rural homes were searched, one near Sergeant in Mower County and the other in Dodge County near Mantorville.

Three men who left the Mower County property in separate vehicles were stopped on Highway 63 near the Rochester Airport Wednesday afternoon. Scheckel says they were on their way to Rochester to make a delivery of methamphetamine. Officers seized 10 pounds of the drug  and the three men were arrested. They are expected to face federal charges. Scheckel says one of the men smashed his cellphone and chewed and swallowed its SIM card before officers could secure him.

Scheckel says a search of the Mower County residence turned up 3 more pounds of meth and $26,000 in cash. Officers seized 6 pounds of meth and $8,000 in cash at the Dodge County site and two men who were there were arrested.

Scheckel says the estimated wholesale value of the 19 pounds of meth is around $200,000.

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