If you’ve followed the news surrounding the weekend arrest of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, you probably know that his organization was responsible for flooding the Chicago region with drugs.
Officials in Chicago were among the first to want him tried in their jurisdiction, but indictments were brought in six other court districts. In fact, a 2011 Justice Department report found that cartels had a presence in more than 1,000 cities. That number was likely an exaggeration, analysts and officials in some of those cities told The Post’s Scott Higham this summer. But the report’s finding that the cartels have vast operations in the United States is less contentious.
There is no disputing that Mexican cartels are operating in the United States. Drug policy analysts estimate that about 90 percent of the cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine on U.S. streets came here courtesy of the cartels and their distribution networks in Mexico and along the Southwestern border. DEA officials say they have documented numerous cases of cartel activity in Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.
The Sinaloa cartel, for example, was found to be operating in every single region of the country, dealing in cocaine, heroin, marijuana, MDMA and methamphetamine. That report, the National Drug Threat Assessment, also listed where six other Mexican cartels operated within the United States and which drugs they primarily trafficked. Check it out in the table below.