Forget drug cartels being a Mexican problem, they have infiltrated thousands of U.S. cities and are running complex and lucrative drug operations right under our noses. After all, we are their biggest and most relied upon customer.
Using information from a report released by the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Post was able to identify the trafficking routes and bases of various Mexican drug cartels. And it may shock you just how deeply embedded they are in America.
Unsuspecting cities like Portland, Denver, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago, Seattle, Louisville, Memphis, Boston, Minneapolis, Dallas and so many more have a reported drug cartel presence.
The gangs move heroin, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines to feed America's massive drug habit, and they do so gleefully as they rake in billions of dollars in profit.
So which cartels have actually been "confirmed' to be in America? To name a few, the Tijuana Cartel, Juarez Cartel, Gulf Cartel, Federation Cartel and numerous gangs with "unknown affiliation."
Curiously, two of Mexico's most powerful and ruthless cartels, the Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel, are not included in the report. But make no mistake, their tentacles reach the U.S. as well.
Texas is particularly affected by the drug cartel invasion. The Gulf Cartel appears to control much of east Texas while the Juarez Cartel divides up the west. Further, the drug routes moving out of the Lone Star State and into other states are many.
"Cocaine is the most lucrative of illegal drugs. The United Nations estimates that sales of the drug net $88 billion a year on the street. While the largest federations were once Columbian, now it appears they are Mexican. The UN estimates two-thirds of cocaine that left the Andean region of South America for the United States in 2008 passed through the hands of Mexican cartels," the National Post reports.
This graphic from the National Post breaks down the routes visually and shows where the drug cartels are operating. It also shows the number of drug related deaths in various categories, which now totals more than 50,000 since 2006. Has your city been infiltrated?
(h/t: Business Insider)