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Brazil police bust drug ring trafficking cocaine to Europe

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian police spread out Monday to execute hundreds of search and arrest warrants in a crackdown on a drug-trafficking ring that authorities say attempted to smuggle more than 6 tons of cocaine to Europe over the past year.

Federal police said the criminal organization used Sao Paulo and the port of Santos as waystations for drugs trafficked between producer countries in Latin America and Europe. Agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration provided information that assisted in the investigation.

More than 800 federal police officers fanned out in five states and Brazil's federal district Monday to serve 190 search and seizure warrants and more than 120 arrest warrants. By afternoon, the force said it had taken around 80 people into custody, and most of the ordered searches had been carried out.

During an investigation that spanned more than a year, police seized cocaine at three ports in Brazil and alerted authorities in several European countries to drug shipments.

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