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Monday, July 13

"The Drug Enforcement Agency did not immediately return ABC News' requests for comment about the Sinaloa cartel's reach within the United States."

Julio Cesar Aguilar/Agence France-Presse
Residents of Garcia, in Mexico’s Nuevo Leon state, looked in horror toward a beer hall where gunmen stormed in and killed 10 people last month. Photo from As Mexico takes down kingpins, pace of killings only accelerates, July 3.

Note from the second report below that it was the FBI, not DEA, that did the heavy lifting in nailing a Sinaloa cartel member in the USA.  Doubtful these reports would have been published -- or at least not made it onto Google News -- if not for Guzman's prison break. Out of fear of offending Mexicans and angering the country's government, very little news about the country's illict cartels has been reported in the American national media.  This isn't helping Americans, or law-abiding Mexicans who live under a reign of terror in their country.      

How El Chapo's Sinaloa Drug Cartel Spread Its Reach Across US
By MEGHAN KENEALLY
July 13, 2015 - 3:11 PM ET
ABC News

The Sinaloa cartel has grown its reach far beyond the Mexican border and is now believed to be the most powerful and widest-reaching drug importer in the United States.

“They don’t necessarily have 80 percent of the market, but they are probably the most widespread and have the largest share out of any [drug trafficking] group in the U.S.,” Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and expert on Mexican criminal history, told ABC News.

Part of the reason the Sinaloa cartel, which was led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who broke out of a maximum security prison in Mexico this weekend for the second time, was able to spread its power so much more effectively than others was because they were “measured” in its use of violence, Felbab-Brown said.

“Sinaloa was very much the instigator of much of the violence in Mexico in the early parts of the 2000s as they were trying to take over the territories of their rivals,” Felbab-Brown said, but noted that they were “much more competent in calibrating violence with other policies like social handouts, cultivating the church and they never sort of adopted the same level of violence and carnage” as others.

As a result, the group “never attracted the same level of priority focus from the Mexican government and frankly the U.S. [authorities] as some of the much more brutal groups like the Zetas,” she said.

Organizational structure also had a big impact in Sinaloa’s footprint, as Felbab-Brown said Guzman “managed to institutionalize power systems and relationships,” which allowed the cartel to expand even when he was on the lam before being arrested in 2014.

The Sinaloas also regularly partner with local gangs and drug distributors in the United States to spread their reach. Felbab-Brown described it as franchise-like relationships, with the Sinaloas having a “strong hand.”

[...]

Once the drugs arrived in Chicago, they were distributed to cities across the country including Washington, D.C. , and New York, the brothers testified, but government data reports that it was far more widespread.

The Sinaloas specialize in the distribution of cocaine but also are known to work with heroin and methamphetamine, as well, Felbab-Brown said.

In 2009, the now-closed National Drug Intelligence Center, which was run through the Department of Justice, reported that there were 76 U.S. towns that had an affiliation to the cartel. That number marked more than double of any of the six other cartels.

The Drug Enforcement Agency did not immediately return ABC News' requests for comment about the cartel's reach within the United States.

[END REPORT]

El Chapo’s cartel reached deep into New England
by Laurel J. Sweet
July 13, 2015
Boston Herald

The powerful Sinaloa drug cartel, led by the notorious kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman — currently on the lam after a stunning escape Saturday from his Mexican prison — has a poisonous network of drugs and crime across the globe, reaching deep into New England.

Jesus Manuel Gutierrez Guzman, a first cousin of El Chapo, will be sentenced today in federal court in Concord, N.H., for his work on behalf of the cartel in New England.

He was busted thanks to an undercover sting that led cartel members to meet with undercover FBI agents in Boston and Portsmouth and New Castle, N.H., over the course of several years, from early 2010 through 2012.

Guzman told agents he was his cousin’s representative, and offered to deliver thousands of kilos of cocaine to various ports on the northeastern seaboard of the United States, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. He was nabbed in 2012 and extradited to New Hampshire.

Gutierrez Guzman last year pleaded guilty to drug charges. El Chapo himself remains under indictment in New Hampshire.

Steven R. Peterson, a retired Drug Enforcement Administration special agent formerly stationed in Boston, said it’s no surprise El Chapo sought to expand Sinaloa’s reach into New England.

“Why wouldn’t you? There’s a lot of money up there,” Peterson told the Herald.
[...]

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