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Drug Cartels in North Texas: Big Business and Felony Crimes

In Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as the surrounding area here in North Texas, illegal drugs are a big (very big) business. Criminal defense lawyers here as well as police and prosecutors in both the state and federal systems understand in ways that the general public does not about the commercial success of selling both prescription pain medication (Oxycodone, etc.) as well as illegal substances including heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine here, as well as transporting and distributing these products from or through Dallas / Fort Worth to other markets around the country.


To Drug Cartels, they are in the business selling a product that is in demand.

The manufacture, distribution, and sale of Illegal drugs is a huge commercial enterprise here. Heroin is a growth industry right now, for instance. For details on that reality, read “Heroin is a Business in Texas: Growing Heroin Demand Means More Heroin Busts in 2015.”

There are local news stories about people being arrested for possession or sale of illegal drugs almost every day. Felonies, true: but these are arrests of the end-users in many cases. People who were busted after being caught with heroin, meth, coke, or pain pills that they had for their own use or to share with their friends.

The big business profiting off of the drug trade here in North Texas isn’t these end-users. These users are part of the business enterprise’s customer base. For federal authorities and state investigators, efforts are being focused not upon these little fish, but upon the big fish. The entrepreneurs of the illegal drug markets here.

And for the most part, that means the Mexican Drug Cartels.

Illegal Drug Trade Is Multi-Billion Dollar Business

It’s reported that globally, the revenues from illegal drug trade make up around 1% of the world’s entire financial revenue (and this might be low). Estimates have the illegal cocaine market bringing in over $85 Billion each year. And that’s just one product in the product line. From a business perspective, these numbers are even more huge when you consider that net profit from that gross revenue may include expenses like transportation costs but it doesn’t involve any deductions for taxes. All this revenue is totally tax-free.

From a business perspective, illegal operations come with risks and benefits: the risk of arrest, and the benefit of being tax-free.

Hard drugs route through Texas to the rest of the United States (and elsewhere) as they come from Mexico, Columbia, Peru, and other parts of Central and South America. Cocaine and heroin are two products with main distribution and transportation routes through Texas – cargo on big rigs, other vehicles, or small planes.

As for our Dallas-Fort Worth area, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) knows that the Mexican Drug Cartels place trusted employees around North Texas to oversee distribution points here, called “command and control” operations by the feds. From these “command and control” points, the Cartels move illegal drug products up from Mexico through Dallas and North Texas, where cargo is then routed all across the country.

These district sales managers for the Mexican Drug Cartels fit easily into the local communities – they’re chosen for their ability to blend in. Where are they? Think suburbs like those in Richardson, Carrollton, and Duncanville. That family having dinner in the booth next to you at Chili’s — that couple going to the movies at your local theater? For all you know, that’s an employee of a Mexican Drug Cartel on his off hours.

Who Are These Drug Cartels Operating Here in Dallas and North Texas?

Last month, Breitbart Texas reported that Mexico’s drug cartel known as the Sinaloa Federation along with its “New Generation” spin-off, the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion, has established McAllen, Texas, on the Texas – Mexico border as a hub in its illegal drug distribution. Sinaloa operations have drugs crossing the border from Mexico into Texas at McAllen, where they are then processed and transported to various sales points across the country.

The Breitbart Texas investigation tracked heroin, for example, from Texas through the Sinaloa trade route to places like Ohio and New Jersey. The Sinaloa Cartel distribution channels work both ways: as drugs are moved to northern markets, Sinaloa enterprises move guns and cash south from those northern markets.

Other Drug Cartels known to be operating in the North Texas area in the past few years include:

  • Los Zetas
  • Gulf Cartel
  • Juarez Cartel
  • La Familia Michoacana
  • Knights Templar
  • Beltran Leyva.

In February 2015, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) published its report with findings that the Mexican Drug Cartels are considered by law enforcement to be one of the “most significant” threats facing Texas. Drug Cartels are making huge profits in both their illegal drug trade — which the authorities refer to as “drug trafficking” — as well as in providing cheap labor including workers for the commercial sex marketplace ( both forms of illegal acts known as “human trafficking”).

Published in the Houston Chronicle, DPS explains “Mexican cartels constitute the greatest organized crime threat to Texas .… Mexican cartels control virtually all illegal smuggling activities through the U.S. – Mexico border and continue to supply most of the illicit drugs in the U.S. market.”

Read the full DPS report here:

Border Surge Report


Felony Charges: Focusing on Mexican Drug Cartel Operations

To law enforcement like DPS, the drug cartels are committing a wide variety of serious felony crimes in their business operations. What the Drug Cartels consider as a growing product market, where their operations are supplying products to meet demand of customers, the authorities consider to be serious illegal acts outlawed with serious punishments upon sentencing, like “drug trafficking” and “human trafficking” (supplying cheap labor and workers for the commercial sex trade).

Arrests can also include felony crimes like money laundering, structuring, wire fraud, mail fraud, extortion, public corruption, and kidnapping.

Today, at the state level, DPS works with County Sheriffs for counties along the Texas-Mexico border along with other law enforcement groups to keep a daily record of crimes and arrests made along the border as well as along the drug corridors known to be used as distribution channels by the Mexican Drug Cartels.

These reports are shared by the various groups to try and keep track of the Drug Cartel activities in Texas as well as to plan operations to stop them. These crime statistics include the following:

  1. Marijuana seizures
  2. Cocaine seizures
  3. Methamphetamine seizures
  4. Heroin seizures
  5. Cash seizures
  6. Weapon seizures
  7. Public Corruption
  8. Illegal Alien apprehensions
  9. Criminal Aliens
  10. Arrest of Cartel members in Texas
  11. Mexican Cartel recruitment of Texas school age children
  12. Shootings at law enforcement officers
  13. High speed pursuits and use of Caltrops
  14. Splash downs
  15. Stolen Vehicles recovered in Mexico
  16. Known or Suspected Cartel related murders
  17. Known or Suspected Cartel related kidnappings and extortions.

Crimes and Drug Cartels: Expect More Major Arrests of “Big Fish” in The Future

Working together in joint operations, the federal agencies along with state and local law enforcement are dedicated to finding and arresting people that they think are significant in these Drug Cartel business operations. They want to find and bring heavy felony charges against people who perform jobs like bookkeeping, accounting, sales management, and marketing efforts in the North Texas area on behalf of their employers.

Accountants and bookkeepers can face charges connected to structuring, money laundering, mail fraud, and more. Sales managers can be charged with felony crimes like distribution, conspiracy, and trafficking. Marketing executives for the Cartels may face arrest for extortion, public corruption, etc.

Bottom line, as the business has grown in Texas for illegal drugs the efforts by law enforcement to thwart those operations have grown as well. Each year, the agencies request more funding in order to increase their investigations with more tools (like surveillance) and more manpower. (Like DPS did with the above 2015 Report).

Citizens in Dallas and North Texas may be shocked in the months to come as these “big fish” arrests increase — these will be professional people who are being taken away in handcuffs. It’s gonna happen.

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