Drug Cartels Operating In The U.S. Follow The Trail Of Mexican Immigrants Into American Heartland

Article author: 
Victoria Infante
Article publisher: 
Huffington Post
Article date: 
August 29, 2012
Article category: 
Our American Future
Medium
Article Body: 

Hidden on private property in Wilmington, North Carolina, Federal agents found a plot of 2,400 marijuana plants in June 2009... the site had a gasoline-powered generator and an irrigation system that brought in water from a nearby river...

As reported by CNN, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents staked out the camp, but after two days grew tired of waiting for the "owners" of the operation, individuals believed to have been linked to the Mexican drug cartel known as "La Familia Michoacana." The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lists the cartel, the "Michoacan Family" in Spanish, as one of the principal traffickers of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines in the Southeast and Southwest United States.

In June of this year, the DEA and the DOJ concluded a two-year investigation by jointly dismantling a money-laundering scheme operated by Los Zetas, another powerful and bloodthirsty drug cartel that operates in the northeastern part of Mexico...

The Zetas had settled into Oklahoma and New Mexico by using horse breeding and racing to cover up their illegal activities. Through an established company, Tremor Enterprises, the cartel had placed horses -- including one named Cartel Número Uno (Number One Cartel) -- in some of the most important races in the U.S. according to the Mexican newspaper El Universal.

These arrests were just the latest in an ever-growing list of criminal cases against Mexican drug cartels which are finding their way into middle America...

Over the last few years, there have been various reports on the operation of the cartels in U.S.-Mexico border states and large urban areas -- like Chicago ..

But evidence now points to no place in the U.S. being too remote for the cartels. Drugs, firearms and money tied to Mexican drug organizations have been found in small rural towns as well as lucrative suburbs...

Roberta Jacobson, the current assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, said in April 2011 that Mexican drug cartels were operating in 230 cities in the United States...  the Justice Department's National Drug Intelligence Center estimates that in "2009 and 2010, cartels operated in 1,286 U.S. cities. The center named only 50 cities in 2006."..

Charles Bowden, "noted author on the Mexican drug war," explained to CNN that the cartels seek out communities with an existing Hispanic population and proximity to highways through which drugs and proceeds can be moved...