A short film: What Courier Journal uncovered about Jalisco New Generation Cartel’s El Mencho–This short film details how The Courier Journal’s investigation into CJNG and its leader, El Mencho, began in early 2019 and what was uncovered.
The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) extended its presence in the United States to 35 states, in which it “overwhelms” cities and small towns with large amounts of drugs.
A nine-month investigation by the Courier Journal revealed how the criminal organization extended its operations through the US and Puerto Rico, weaving “a sticky network that has caught troubled business owners, thousands of drug users and Mexican immigrants terrified to defy orders of the cartel ”.
CJNG has established important areas such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.
Research The Courier Journal have documented cells where members of the Cartel Jalisco settled in a luxury condominium near the honky-tonk of the Nashville downtown district; others are located in a luxurious apartment in Hollywood near Sunset Boulevard, as well as in suburbs in Cairo, Illinois; Johnson City, Tennessee; and Kansas City, Missouri.
I t was also established in central-southern Virginia, in a set of houses in Axton , a small community of about 6,500 people.
The speed of the CJNG’s growth in less than a decade has made the cartel a “clear, present and growing danger,” said Uttam Dhillon, interim administrator of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
“They want to control the entire drug market,” said Matthew Donahue, who oversees foreign operations for the DEA. “If that leads them to kill other cartels or innocent people, they will.”
The research identified at least two dozen “cells,” which the DEA defines as places where cartel members settle in to do business and live in communities.
One of its main strategies is to hire local vendors of different ethnicities, who are identified with the community.
“If it comes from a cartel, they could have sold a pound to Asians, blacks, motorcycle gangs outside the law, white trash,” said Lt. Jeremy Williams of the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina whose Testimony in 2014 helped convict a trafficker related to the CJNG.
“The powerful international union of ‘El Mencho’ (Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, the founder) is flooding the United States with thousands of kilos of methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl every year, despite being repeatedly targeted by prolonged research,” highlights the research that emphasizes how the endless flow of drugs from Mexican cartels has contributed to the unprecedented addiction crisis in this country, devastating families and killing more than 300,000 people since 2013.
In Mexico, a DEA researcher said he was surprised when he learned that CJNG cells were appearing in communities as small as Axton. “What are they doing in the middle of nowhere?” He asked his team.
|La Garra, one of the trusted men of “El Mencho” in the United States|
Upon hearing more details, the researcher, who asked not to be identified to protect his work, acknowledged The Courier Journal: “It’s a great strategy.” CJNG members have followed relatives or friends who left Mexico to migrate to the US to look for work. The cartel takes advantage of its connections with migrants so that instead of working on the so-called “pisca” (the field) they work for the criminal organization, said Dan Dodds, who directs DEA operations in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. .
The cartel’s expansion into smaller communities began five years ago, according to intelligence analysts. These communities give them a better opportunity to go unnoticed by the authorities.
“The big cities have large police departments and the DEA, the FBI and (National Security Investigations) and the ability to look at intelligence and focus on their cells and contacts,” said Donahue of the DEA.
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