Jack Riley, the No. 2 at the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), signaled support for Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the Southern border in a recent interview centered on hunting down Mexican drug cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo News, the acting deputy administrator at the Obama administration’s DEA agency, discussed why the U.S. government is invested in hunting escaped convict El Chapo, the leader of Mexico’s brutal Sinaloa cartel.
Riley explained why El Chapo and his murderous criminal empire are a threat to the United States.
The Sinaloa cartel has been dubbed the world’s biggest drug trafficking organization.
It is behind a heroin epidemic in the United States that is causing a rise in murders and overdose deaths, reports Yahoo News.
For Riley, who was once the target of an assassination plot by henchmen working for his personal nemesis El Chapo, hunting the Sinaloa cartel boss is personal.
“Just so you know, I was going to retire — until this dick escaped,” Riley told Yahoo News, later adding, “I’m in it for the long haul.”
El Chapo escaped from Mexico’s Altiplano maximum-security prison in July. The prison break is the second in Mexico for Guzman, who fled a different maximum-security facility in 2001.
El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel is reportedly the source of much of the heroin trafficked into the United States.
Yahoo News asked Riley whether or not Trump’s presidential campaign promise to build a wall along the Southwest border would make a difference.
“I’m all for anything that would make a difference in stopping criminals and the flow of drugs. I’m a cop. Whatever the policymakers decide, I’ll work with,” responded Riley, signaling support for Trump’s immigration proposal.
When asked if the U.S. government was doing enough to stem illegal cross-border activity, Riley said, “When you look at the relationships between street gangs and these people — wow. And then you throw in the supply of illegal guns, I don’t know. It’s tough.”
Yahoo News noted that Riley recently told U.S. lawmakers that heroin seizures along the Southwest border had more than doubled in the last five years. The DEA official also said that the loads of heroin pouring into the U.S. had increased significantly.
Yahoo News asked Riley to discuss how the heroin is getting into the U.S.
‘Virtually anyway you can imagine — from an 18-wheeler to inside a gas tank on a mobile home to a guy doing a backstroke in the Rio Grande with a backpack,” responded the DEA’s No. 2. Sinaloa probably has the best financed research and development of any so-called corporation in the world. Whatever they come up with, they’re going to try.”
In his immigration reform plan, Trump proposes building a wall along the Southwest border and having Mexico pay for it. He also vows to deport illegal immigrant gang members.
Trump is the leading presidential candidate of the Republican party. Critics of Trump’s border wall proposal argue that it will be ineffective and too costly to build and maintain.
The DEA is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).