Thursday, November 03, 2011

Mexico cartels extend U.S. reach

As dawn broke, police smashed down doors of 52 different houses across California to discover automatic rifles, a grenade launcher and 20 kilos of cocaine, allegedly smuggled by Mexican cartels into the United States. The cocaine and guns seized in the raids, which happened last month, were in the possession of members of a California motorcycle gang. Mexican cartels have long operated in the United States and forged ties on a smaller level with American gangs, using them to sell drugs on street corners. A report by the National Drug Intelligence Center said that Mexican cartels already operate in more than 1,000 U.S. cities — or almost every urban area in the United States. But this recent bust, the culmination of an 18-month probe codenamed “Operation Simple Green,” underscores one of many ways that Mexican drug cartels have strengthened their ties with American gangs, broadening their reach into the U.S. and changing the dynamics of the U.S.-Mexican drug trade. The development comes amid fears that the relentless drug violence in Mexico could spill over the Rio Grande...more

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