Mexico and the United States’ joint Action Plan to combat drug trafficking

Reuters photo

 

By

Ricardo Swire

 

 

Mexico and the USA have joined forces to combat the endemic drug trafficking that originates in Mexico. On August 15, 2018 a two-nation “Action Plan” was launched in Chicago. In the recent past the state’s counter-narcotics enforcement squads confiscated large amounts of fentanyl and heroin. On February 11, 2015 the United States Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Special Agent-In-Charge declared; “Chicago is a hub for narcotics money laundering, with dirty money changing hands all too often in public parking lots throughout the city and suburbs.”

 

A 2017 US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) report blamed Mexican traffickers for most of Chicago’s drug supply and distribution. The Chicago DEA office, Mexican Government, Chicago Police Department and other US federal, state enforcement partners’ Action Plan proposed; “International investigations of high-value Mexican Cartel targets” and the increase of “judicialized operations, relative to law enforcement investigations.” The enforcement agenda additionally stressed the importance of disrupting Mexican crime groups’ financial operations. Cartels and gangs go hand-in-hand.

 

Part of the task force’s mandate is to submit convincing prosecutorial evidence against Cartels, Transnational Criminal and Money laundering Organizations. Patterns map Sinaloa cartel, La Familia cartel, Knights Templar and Juarez cartel traffickers who buy South American cocaine and launder associated profits to avoid border patrol seizures, rather than smuggle the cash in bulk amounts. A previous OCDETF operation stopped thirty Sinaloa Cartel traffickers.

 

Creative schemes included Cartel emissaries who laundered more than US$100 million in drug revenue. Their activities spanned Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia, California, Texas, and North Carolina. Two high-ranking Mexico-based money brokers used a network of individuals in Chicago, Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles to clean drug revenue via a gold-based scheme.

 

Between June 2013 and August 2014, on forty-nine occasions, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Chicago agents seized more US$4.5 million from thirty-eight associated money couriers. The criminal network used its US based members to collect cash drug payments. Such monies purchased scrap or fine gold from local businesses. The precious metal was shipped to Florida and California based refineries for processing. In return complicit refinery executives remitted the gold’s cash value to co-conspirators in Mexico.

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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