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The U.S. Justice Department says more than 300 people have been arrested in the United States over the past two days, as part of a massive operation targeting the La Familia Mexican drug cartel.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters Thursday that the recent arrests are part of a 44-month, multi-agency law enforcement investigation known as Project Coronado.  Holder called the operation the largest coordinated U.S. law enforcement operation ever undertaken against a Mexican drug cartel.

He said the reach of the cartel stretches well into the United States.

Holder said that, in the last two days alone, law enforcement officials have seized nearly a ton of illegal narcotics, and hundreds of weapons and vehicles.  Over all, the nearly four-year operation has ledilia is a heavily armed cartel that utilizes violence, such as killings, kidnappings and assaults, to support its narcotics operations.  He described the cartel as the most violent of Mexico's five drug cartels.

Thousands of people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico in recent years.