Home NewsCrime DEA says most dangerous Mexican cartels operate in all 50 American States

DEA says most dangerous Mexican cartels operate in all 50 American States

by Yucatan Times
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Mexico’s “most powerful and ruthless” cartels operate in all 50 states and clash in American cities, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in a May report.

The Jalisco and Sinaloa cartels have flooded major U.S. cities with meth and fentanyl and use violence to protect their turf, the report found.

“The deadly reach of the Mexican Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels into U.S. communities is extended by the wholesale-level traffickers and street dealers bringing the cartels’ drugs to market, sometimes creating their deadly drug mixtures,” the DEA report says. “Together, the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels have caused the worst drug crisis in U.S. history.”

The DEA’s National Drug Threat Assessment report details the cartels’ leadership structures, the areas they control, how they operate, and their global reach beyond Mexico and the U.S.

Synthetic drugs like fentanyl are more potent than plant-based drugs, cheaper to make, and easier to move, which allows both cartels to infiltrate America and control all aspects of the drug trade from production to delivery.

Sinaloa and Jalisco have “effectively eliminated any competition in U.S. markets” and “dictate the flow of nearly all illicit drugs” into the country, according to the report, which notes that thousands of cartel-linked dealers currently operate in the U.S.

Late last week, the “Skittles Man,” whose real name is Roque Bustamante, was one of seven Sinaloa Cartel members arrested in Florida for allegedly supplying thousands of Mexican-made fentanyl pills, according to federal prosecutors.

The notorious nickname was created because he allegedly sold large supplies of rainbow-colored fentanyl pills.

Map showing Mexico's "most powerful and ruthless" cartel operates in all 50 states.
Mexico’s “most powerful and ruthless” cartel operates in all 50 states, the DEA says.

An undercover law enforcement operation also busted the cartel members arranging a weapons-smuggling operation into Mexico, including .50 caliber high-powered rifles, court documents allege.

During the investigation, the DEA seized about 21 kilograms of pure fentanyl, 70,000 rainbow-colored fentanyl pills, 3,000 M30 blue fentanyl pills, 243 pounds of crystal meth, two kilos of cocaine, and 24 guns, including 18 rifles and six pistols.

In late April, 12 traffickers tied to the Jalisco cartel were sentenced to 4.5 to 40 years in federal prison after they were busted in Del Rio, Texas, in 2021 for coordinating a shipment of nearly 200 kilograms of liquid methamphetamine worth $9.9 million.

Throughout that particular investigation, law enforcement seized about 650 kilograms of methamphetamine, 17 guns, $220,922 in cash, and $12,200 in real and personal property, federal North Texas prosecutors said.

There were nearly 38,000 fentanyl-related deaths in the first six months of 2023, according to the DEA report.

“Fentanyl is the deadliest threat the U.S. has ever faced,” the report says. “Fentanyl and other synthetic drugs, like methamphetamine, are responsible for nearly all the fatal drug overdoses and poisonings in our country.”

TYT Newsroom

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