The Associated Press, on Monday, reported that Mexican drug cartels are dispatching top agents into cities deep within the United States in order to further embolden their illicit drug trafficking enterprises.
From the AP report:
If left unchecked, authorities say, the cartels’ move into the American interior could render the syndicates harder than ever to dislodge and pave the way for them to expand into other criminal enterprises such as prostitution, kidnapping-and-extortion rackets and money laundering.
Cartel activity in the U.S. is certainly not new. Starting in the 1990s, the ruthless syndicates became the nation’s No. 1 supplier of illegal drugs, using unaffiliated middlemen to smuggle cocaine, marijuana and heroin beyond the border or even to grow pot here.
But a wide-ranging Associated Press review of federal court cases and government drug-enforcement data, plus interviews with many top law enforcement officials, indicate the groups have begun deploying agents from their inner circles to the U.S. Cartel operatives are suspected of running drug-distribution networks in at least nine non-border states, often in middle-class suburbs in the Midwest, South and Northeast.
The AP piece echoes a warning first read by Personal Liberty Digest™ subscribers in early February:
Largely ignored by media and U.S. officials is the growing influence of Mexican drug cartels in the United States, possibly because their actions haven’t become quite as bold in the States as the brutality on display in their country of origin. Of the seven biggest Mexican drug trafficking organizations, the Sinaloa cartel has the biggest foothold in the U.S. Some estimates indicate that the group moves an average of one kilo of cocaine across the Nation’s border every 10 minutes. With the large amount of product coming into the United States, the cartels have set up hubs of operation here to manage distribution, and not just in border States.
In Chicago, where prolific violence makes headlines daily, Sinaloa has set up its American base of operations, tapping in to the heavily Mexican population of the city’s Little Village area.
“Chicago, with 100,000 gang members to put the dope on the street, is a logistical winner for the Sinaloa cartel,” Jack Riley, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special agent in charge of the Chicago field division, told The Washington Post after a tour through Little Village. “We have to operate now as if we’re on the Mexican border.”
But it isn’t only Chicago that has become the American base of operations for some of Mexico’s most ruthless drug pushers. Cartels have infiltrated the Nation and established hubs or footholds in 1,286 American cities. More disturbing still, ongoing high unemployment and the opportunity to make big bucks pushing drugs for Mexican cartels is drawing a growing number of Americans already at risk for criminality to becoming involved with the brutal organizations.