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DEA: Two most dangerous Mexican drug cartels operating in all 50 states

One cartel 'cook' alone is capable of manufacturing over 100,000 fentanyl pills per day.
by WorldTribune Staff, May 21, 2024 Contract With Our Readers

Two of Mexico's most powerful and ruthless drug cartels have operatives in all 50 U.S. states, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

The Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels essentially control the flow of illicit drugs into the United States via their "worldwide organized criminal networks," the DEA said in its 2024 National Drug Threat Assessment.

Mexican cartels are also at the forefront of the "dangerous shift from plant-based to synthetic drugs" that have fueled an epidemic of overdose deaths, the DEA said.

"The Jalisco Cartel has become wholly independent and now operates well beyond Mexico’s borders, with a presence in dozens of countries around the world and all 50 U.S. states," the report said.

The Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels "rely on chemical companies and pill press companies in China to supply the precursor chemicals and pill presses needed to manufacture the drugs," the agency's assessment said.

The drugs are then manufactured in "clandestine labs in Mexico" before being shuttled across what under Joe Biden has become an open U.S. southern border and into the U.S. where cartel "associates" complete the process by selling them on the streets.

China-based "underground banking systems" are used to move the profits back to cartel leaders in Mexico, the DEA said.

The DEA said in its assessment that by switching to synthetic drugs, the two cartels have facilitated the "most dangerous and deadly drug crisis the United States has ever faced," with man-made substances such as fentanyl and methamphetamine accounting for "nearly all of the fatal drug poisonings in our nation."

The Sinaloa Cartel is led by "Los Chapitos," the four sons of the infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzman, and it is the "most prolific fentanyl trafficking operation in the world," according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The DOJ said that one cartel "cook" alone is capable of manufacturing over 100,000 fentanyl pills per day using pill press machines in the labs.

The cartel also employs "sicarios," or assassins, who are equipped with "military-grade weapons" such as rocket launchers, grenades, AK-47s, and AR-15s, to establish loyalty and protection, the DOJ said.

The cartel's use of such tactics is ultimately geared towards achieving its main aim — getting the finished product into the U.S. And it is largely succeeding.

So, what is Biden's DEA doing about it?

Critics say the answer is quite generic and not at all inspiring:

"As the lead law enforcement agency in the administration’s whole-of-government response to defeat the cartels and combat the drug poisoning epidemic in our communities, DEA will continue to collaborate on strategic counter-drug initiatives with our law enforcement partners across the United States and the world," DEA Administrator Anne Milgram stated.

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