Mexican-Led Narco-Ring in Virginia Latest Suspected Cartel Activity in US

Norfolk, Virginia -- A Mexican national has been sentenced for participating in a large cocaine trafficking network on U.S. soil. Authorities say the operation was centered in Virginia but extended across the United States. 

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office’s press release, Omar Antonio Martinez, a 31-year old Mexican citizen, played the role of recruiting local American drug dealers to distribute cocaine from Sonora, Mexico. Martinez was sentenced to 292 months in prison with five years of supervised release.

Sonora, Mexico was controlled by the Sonora cartel prior to wars with rival cartels. The remaining Sonora members were mostly absorbed into the powerful Sinaloa cartel. This case marks the second verified arrest or sentencing by the U.S. government of Mexican nationals from Sinaloa cartel territory operating narcotics rings on U.S. soil within the past thirty days. The other case involved another Mexican national being arrested in Sacramento, California with a large amount of methamphetamine.

This case marks the fifth arrest, conviction, or sentencing involving Mexican narcotics rings on U.S. soil within the last thirty days. There are concerns that Mexican cartels are now sending their own people to lead narcotics operations on U.S. soil, to recruit U.S. gangs to work under their leadership, and even begining to manufacture narcotics in rural U.S. counties.

Follow Brandon Darby on Twitter: @brandondarby


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