Are Mexico's Drug Cartels Behind Chicago's Insane Bloodbath?
The Daily Mail front pages an AP story that details how Mexico's hyper violent drug cartels are moving more and more of their personnel north of the border and into America's cities and communities. According to the report, the cartels are moving into the US to shore up control over their drug networks. They just can't find anyone they can trust not to skim cash or steal business, so they're bringing their own people into the US.
That's easy to do, when the border is as secure as it's ever been, according to our federal government.
Chicago, which is in the midst of a horrendous murder spree, has noticed the cartel activity. The city has named a cartel kingpin its Public Enemy number one.
'It's probably the most serious threat the United States has faced from organized crime,' said Jack Riley, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Chicago office.
The cartel threat looms so large that one of Mexico's most notorious drug kingpins -- a man who has never set foot in Chicago -- was recently named the city's Public Enemy number one, the same notorious label once assigned to Al Capone.
The Chicago Crime Commission, a non-government agency that tracks crime trends in the region, said it considers Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman even more menacing than Capone because Guzman leads the deadly Sinaloa cartel, which supplies most of the narcotics sold in Chicago and in many cities across the U.S.
The story reports that cartel activity is showing up all over the US.
But cases involving cartel members have now emerged in the suburbs of Chicago and Atlanta, as well as Columbus, Ohio, Louisville, Kentucky and rural North Carolina. Suspects have also surfaced in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
Mexican drug cartels 'are taking over our neighborhoods', Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane warned a legislative committee in February.
And in Chicago, while the cartels are not pulling the triggers on the streets, they are lurking behind the gangsters who are pulling those triggers.
In Chicago, the police commander who oversees narcotics investigations, James O'Grady, said street-gang disputes over turf account for most of the city's uptick in murders last year, when slayings topped 500 for the first time since 2008.
Although the cartels aren't dictating the territorial wars, they are the source of drugs.
[Chicago DEA chief] Riley's assessment is stark: He argues that the cartels should be seen as an underlying cause of Chicago's disturbingly high murder rate.
'They are the puppeteers,' he said. 'Maybe the shooter didn't know and maybe the victim didn't know that. But if you follow it down the line, the cartels are ultimately responsible.'
It probably doesn't help that the cartels and their agents know that, in cities like Chicago, they're facing off against a gun-controlled, disarmed citizenry.