WSJ says the fentanyl black market is dominated by two Mexican cartels

Mexican marines escort five alleged drug traffickers of the Zeta drug cartel in front of an RPG-7 rocket launcher, hand grenades, firearms, cocaine and military uniforms seized to alleged members of the Zetas drug traffickers cartel and presented to press on June 9, 2011 at the Navy Secretaryship in Mexico City. Fiven men were arrested and more than two hundred rifles, eleven pistols, military uniforms, differents caliber ammunitions and more than 200 kg of cocaine were seized in the Coahuila and Nuevo Leon States by the Navy. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo by YURI CORTEZ / AFP)

The Sinaloa and Jalisco organizations have taken over from Chinese sellers as a dominant source of the potent synthetic opioid, a leading cause of the U.S.’s record overdoses. Among the reasons, it is easier and less expensive to produce than heroin.

CULIACÁN, Mexico—At a half-built house in a barrio, a longtime Sinaloa cartel employee used a shovel to mix chemicals in a simmering oil barrel.

His concoction was an illegal form of fentanyl, which Mexican criminal organizations are churning out at high volume in laboratories and smuggling across the border. In a six-day workweek, the cook said, he can make enough fentanyl for hundreds of thousands of doses.

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