Sinaloa Cartel in Texas: Lone Star State Used as Staging Area

MCALLEN, Texas — The Sinaloa Federation, or its increasingly independent Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion faction, appear to have been using this border city as a staging area to move heroin to northern cities in Ohio and New Jersey.

The arrest of a used car dealer in McAllen, Texas, who is identified in court documents as a heroin distributor in the United States, sheds light on the dark world of organized crime on the Texas border where Mexican drug cartels are able to move drugs into metropolitan areas in the northern part of the United States.

Federal agents serving a warrant out of Ohio arrested Jose Alejandro Palacio in Texas on heroin trafficking charges. A U.S. Magistrate Judge ordered he be held without bond, pending an identity hearing this week, and his likely transfer to Ohio.

Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas reveal that Palacio is believed to have been a longtime heroin supplier in McAllen, who mailed and shipped large quantities of heroin to the northern U.S. and also sold drugs to an associate in Ohio.

Federal agents tapped the phone of Efren Vega Sr, a previously convicted drug trafficker who was out on probation, and managed to record his alleged conversations with Palacio regarding the shipment of heroin to Ohio, court records revealed. The conversations also allegedly included negotiations over the price per kilogram once the cocaine reached Vega. The two appear to have agreed on $60,000 per kilogram.

Palacio is named in a 2010 New Jersey indictment along with 24 other members of the Sinaloa Cartel, all accused of setting up a drug distribution route from the Mexican state of Jalisco, through McAllen, into Ohio, and then into New Jersey, the Gloucester County Times previously reported.

The Sinaloa Cartel members were sending large quantities of drugs north, while moving cash and weapons south.

While the New Jersey indictment from 2010 identifies Palacio as a Sinaloa Cartel associate, in recent years the Jalisco faction of that cartel became known as the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG), which appears to be acting in an independent fashion, as previously reported by Breitbart Texas.

Court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas do not specify if Palacio is tied to the Sinaloa Cartel or its CJNG offshoot.

The CJNG made headlines in recent months by staging a frontal attack on the Mexican government. In recent weeks, the CJNG has been behind a series of ambushes that killed dozens of Mexican police officials, and even shot down a helicopter filled with Mexican Special Forces soldiers. Most recently, the CJNG appears to have been involved in a fierce firefight with Mexican authorities, in which at least 42 gunmen were killed, Breitbart Texas reported.

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