Thirty Days: Mexican Narco-Rings on US Soil in Alabama, Idaho, Oregon

Thirty Days: Mexican Narco-Rings on US Soil in Alabama, Idaho, Oregon

Three US states have seen separate large, Mexican-led narcotics rings either busted, indicted, or sentenced in the last thirty days. The three states–Idaho, Oregon, and Alabama–each had large methamphetamine operations being led by Mexican nationals in their rural counties. One of the cases involved US citizens operating under the leadership of the Mexican nationals.

  • May 9 2013 — A Mexican national was arrested in Sacramento, California with fifteen pounds of methamphetamine from the Sinaloa cartel-controlled Guadalajara, Mexico.
  • May 11 2013 — A Mexican national in Homewood, Alabama was arrested with a large quantity of methamphetamine. Local authorities said it was the largest distribution bust they had ever seen. The man arrested was a 19-year-old with $128,000 worth of the illegal substance.
  • May 16 2013 — Oregon law enforcement officials busted 38 people running a large methamphetamine ring that the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) said was directly connected to a Mexican cartel. Authorities would not release information on the citizenship of the cartel-connected ring leaders. The investigation is believed to have started after multiple narco-corpses were found buried under US soil.
  • May 21 2013 — A Mexican national living in Boise, Idaho was sentenced for operating a methamphetamine distribution effort in the northern state.
  • May 30 2013 — More individuals, mostly Mexican nationals, were sentenced for distribution and manufacture in that Idaho methamphetamine ring. The fact that the Mexican-led operation had begun to manufacture the methamphetamine on US soil indicates a shift from cartels simply having their narcotics smuggled into the US towards the possibility that Mexican cartels are actually producing their narcotics on US soil.

The recent cases came after Texas officials sounded the alarm in 2012 when an Aryan Brotherhood member was arrested as part of a large methamphetamine operation that was led by the Mexican Gulf cartel. The Texas case indicated that Mexican cartels were now willing to enlist the assistance of US gangs to distribute narcotics for them on the US side of the border, rather than simply sell their drugs to smugglers. The Sacramento, California case indicates the Sinaloa cartel has now begun staking claim to territories within the US.


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