Report: Mexican Drug Cartels Behind Increasing Violence in the United States
On Monday, the Associated Press reported that operatives of Mexican drug cartels have infiltrated virtually every large and mid-sized city in the United States in order to "tighten their grip on the world's most lucrative narcotics market and maximize profits."
Based on reviews of court records and interviews with law enforcement officials, the Associated Press claims that Mexican drug cartel "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 report claimed.
Jack Riley, the law enforcement official in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Chicago office described the infiltration as "probably the most serious threat the United States has faced from organized crime." Riley added, "People think, 'The border's 1,700 miles away. This isn't our problem.' Well, it is. These days, we operate as if Chicago is on the border."
Riley believes that the increased presence of Mexican drug cartel operatives has lead to an increase in violent crime in Chicago. "They are the puppeteers. Maybe the shooter didn't know and maybe the victim didn't know that. But if you follow it down the line, the cartels are ultimately responsible."
In February, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said that Mexican drug cartels "are taking over our neighborhoods." In Louisville, Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant Richard Pearson noted, "This is the first time we've been seeing it — cartels who have their operatives actually sent here."
Monday's Associated Press report comes on the heels of a story reported by Breitbart News on Sunday that examined possible connections between the Saturday murders of Kaufman Texas County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia and an alleged alliance between the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican drug cartels.