The Associated Press is out with an extensive piece today showing just how far Mexican drug cartels have infiltrated American society. The cartel problem is no longer a border problem, it's a problem for the entire country. Violent cartel members are carrying out crimes in our backyards with the potential to develop into something much worse.
Mexican drug cartels whose operatives once rarely ventured beyond the U.S. border are dispatching some of their most trusted agents to live and work deep inside the United States — an emboldened presence that experts believe is meant to tighten their grip on the world's most lucrative narcotics market and maximize profits.
If left unchecked, authorities say, the cartels' move into the American interior could render the syndicates harder than ever to dislodge and pave the way for them to expand into other criminal enterprises such as prostitution, kidnapping-and-extortion rackets and money laundering.
But a wide-ranging Associated Press review of federal court cases and government drug-enforcement data, plus interviews with many top law enforcement officials, indicate the groups have begun deploying agents from their inner circles to the U.S. Cartel operatives are suspected of running drug-distribution networks in at least nine non-border states, often in middle-class suburbs in the Midwest, South and Northeast.
"It's probably the most serious threat the United States has faced from organized crime," said Jack Riley, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Chicago office.
The fact is, Phoenix is now the number two city in the world behind Mexico City for kidnapping and sex trafficking from Mexico is already a common occurance.
An aspect of the cartel business that is often overlooked is sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation of both women and children is occurring at an alarming level.
Thomas said sexual predators in the U.S. will order children from Mexico through cartels; cartels then send those children along with a drug run through the desert after payment and deliver that child to their new owner for sexual use.
In addition, Breitbart News is reporting a possible connection between the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Cartels working together to kill public officials in the United States. They report on the link between Mexican cartels and the murders of Texas Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia over the weekend. McLelland's murder came after the targeting killing of two other prosecutors in Texas and Colorado.
A national security expert who has spent several years in intelligence gathering operations around the Mexican drug cartels' criminal insurgency into the continental United States told Breitbart News, "This assassination of DA McClellend and his wife is meant to send a message: no one is safe, no one is beyond our reach. We will kill you and your loved ones. We are in control here."
"This is a significant point of escalation in the crisis," he continued. "This type of high-profile targeting of public officials is a classic insurgent tactic. Its escalating use inside the US shows a complete lack of fear of consequences and demonstrates the fundamental shift in the strategic landscape that has already occurred.
"The criminal insurgencies and their gang foot soldiers have exported the type of warfare that brought Mexico to its knees deep into our sovereign territory. They are waging a war: targeting, assassinating, using terror tactics—and our law enforcement is outgunned and overwhelmed.”
Breitbart News interviewed McLelland several weeks ago as part of an investigation into Mexican drug cartel criminal insurgency operations in the United States, including Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and the city of Chicago. Breitbart News's Brandon Darby conducted the interview with D.A. McLelland in his office in Kaufman, TX.
McLelland spoke about the recent assassination of his Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, who was himself gunned down in broad daylight on the Kaufman County Courthouse steps by a masked gunman who has yet to be apprehended.
Also, on March 19, Colorado’s prisons director, Tom Clements, was shot and killed while answering his front doorbell at his home outside Colorado Springs. The suspect in that case was Evan Spencer Ebel, a member of a white supremacist prison gang, later shot while trying to escape authorities on March 21st.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography