The arrests are a result of a year-long investigation by the DEA. According to the DEA, as much as 10,000 pounds of marijuana were possibly shipped nationwide out of the Phoenix area via shipping companies, such as FedEx and UPS.
The bust took place on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. There were 13 search warrants executed nationwide, resulting in a total of 22 arrests. Seventeen of them were in the Valley. The arrests included two local UPS workers. The other search warrants were executed in Pinal County, Los Angeles, New York, Cleveland, and Minneapolis.
The sheriff's office reports that they seized weapons, 17 vehicles, over $1 million in cash, and approximately 1,000 pounds of marijuana.
"It's been a long, hard investigation," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.
The suspects are facing possession of marijuana, conspiracy to distribute, and money laundering charges resulting from the drug ring bust.
UPS has confirmed in a statement that they assisted MCSO with the investigation. Two of their employees were arrested as they arrived to work.
DEA agent Doug Coleman believes that more people could be arrested in connection to the drug ring.