Mexican drug cartels control drug trafficking in multiple cities throughout the Southwest and continue to spread over the entire nation, a DEA report reveals.
While government officials continue to claim that the border is secure, a recently unclassified intelligence report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration calledÂ Areas of Influence of Major Mexican Transnational Criminal OrganizationsÂ shows that the entire nation is under the influence of drug cartels.
Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) is a word commonly used by government agencies to describe drug cartels.
The DEA claims that the cartelâ€™s currently active in the United States include the Sinaloa Cartel, the Gulf Cartel, the Juarez Cartel, the Knights Templar, The Beltran Leyva Cartel (BLO) Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) Los Zetas.
â€œNo other group is currently positioned to challenge them,â€ the DEA said in their report as they label cartels as the single largest drug threat to America.
The Sinaloa Cartel maintains the most significant presence in the United States,â€ the report revealed. â€œThey are the dominant TCO along the west coast, through the Midwest and into the Northeast.â€
The cartels influence is so vast that it shows their presence in the largest U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit and many others.
In the case of Chicago, which has seen out of control drug violence, the drug cartels operating in those areas are the Sinaloa Cartel and its rivals Los Zetas and the Beltran Leyva Cartel.
â€œ(Mexican cartels) control drug trafficking across the Southwest Border and are moving to expand their share, particularly in the heroin and methamphetamine trade,â€ the report revealed.
In the case of regional cartels like the Gulf, Los Zetas and Juarez cartels, the have a strong control near the border but their influence and operational capacity wanes with distance from the border.
In Texas, the state is divided into three areas of influence with the Sinaloa Cartel controlling the panhandle and northern areas, the Gulf Cartel controlling the coast bearing its name and the Beltran Leyva Cartel controlling the area from Abilene to El Paso. The BLO further expands to the west to control most of the neighboring state of New Mexico.
In the border cities of McAllen, the Gulf Cartel dominates the area but the Sinaloa Federation and Los Zetas are also listed as being active in the region. Just 60 miles east in Brownsville the Gulf Cartel, Sinaloa and the Knights Templar are the active cartels.
In Laredo, Eagle Pass and San Antonio, Los Zetas appear to the dominant cartel. In Eagle Pass no other cartel appears to operate, however in Laredo there is some presence by the Gulf Cartel and Sinaloa.
San Antonio sees more variety with the presence of Sinaloa, knights Templar, Juarez Cartel and Beltran Leyva; however the major activity is linked to Los Zetas.
In Houston, region is evenly shared between Los Zetas, the Gulf Cartel, Sinaloa, Beltran Leyva and Knights Templars.
In Austin, the main cartel is the Knights Templar with Beltran Leyva and Los Zetas also having a presence there.
While Forth Worth is under complete control of the Sinaloa Federation, in nearby Dallas the drug trade is split between Sinaloa, Los Zetas, Beltran Leyva, the Knights Templar and CJNG.