Phoenix arrest demonstrates cartels’ control in Arizona

Posted: October 20, 2012 in Mexico: Failed State, Trans-Border Crime

Examiner 10-20-12

On Thursday, police in Phoenix arrested Carlos Noe Flores, 35, after he reportedly shot another drug trafficker.

On September 22, Flores and the victim met another pair of men who were supposed to purchase 20 pounds of marijuana, according to police.

However, the two were robbed at gunpoint of the drugs.

Two days later, apparently suspicious that his partner had set-up the robbery, Flores told the man that he was going to kill him as the two traveled north on Mesa Drive.

The victim jumped from the vehicle, but as he did, Flores shot him once in the side.

When police took Flores into custody, he told them that his boss, another cartel member had ordered the murder.

Flores has been charged with first-degree attempted murder and is currently being held in the Maricopa County Jail.

The case is just another example of how the Mexican drug cartels now operate freely on this side of the border.

On April 11, 2008, the U.S. Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center released a situation report, illustrating just how widespread the activities of Mexican drug cartels have become throughout the U.S.

The sobering assessment read:

“Mexican DTO’s (Drug Trafficking Organizations) are the most pervasive organizational threat to the United States. They are active in every region of the country and dominate the illicit drug trade in every area except the Northeast.

Mexican DTO’s are expanding their operations in the Northeast and have developed cooperative relationships with DTO’s in that area in order to gain a larger share of the Northeastern drug market.”

According to the 2008 report, Mexican drug traffickers were operating in 195 U.S. cities. In 129 of those cities, law enforcement determined that those traffickers were directly affiliated with one or more of the four major Mexican drug cartels.

The Justice Department report identified 82 U.S. cities with trafficking operations directed by the Federation (Sinaloa) Cartel; 43 cities with operations being directed by the Gulf Cartel; 44 cities with operations being directed by the Juarez Cartel; and finally, operations in 20 cities under the control of the Tijuana Cartel.

By Spring of 2009, the cartels were operating in 231 U.S. cities.

Only two years later, the same report claimed the cartels were distributing drugs in “more than a thousand” U.S. cities.

Both the Sinaloa and Juarez Cartels operate directly in Phoenix, according to the FBI.

Read more about the cartels’ growing influence:

Cartel violence is here…teen beheaded in Oklahoma

U.S. National Parks have been taken over by the cartels

Arizona now the heroin hub of the Western Hemisphere

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