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Maps illustrating cartel routes into U.S. hard to validate

By Maria Garcia, MariaG@kvia.com.
Published On: Jul 18 2012 11:17:54 PM CDT
Updated On: Feb 10 2014 12:51:18 PM CST

We speak to the DEA about online maps showing alleged drug cartel routes in the United States.

EL PASO, Texas -

A map recently created by a Canadian newspaper supposedly illustrating Mexican cartel drug routes infiltrating U.S. cities is difficult to validate, according to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration official.

An official with the Drug Enforcement Administration could not speak on the validity of the map because it was not authored by them, but did say drug routes are ever evolving.

"Drug trafficking is a very fluid business, it's something that's constantly changing. It's a business that once traffickers think that we, as law enforcement, have established their methods and techniques they're using, they're constantly changing them," said Diana Apodaca, Public Information Officer for DEA's El Paso Division.

The map shows a lot of activity in the El Paso area, a fact long known by authorities.

"It's a very lucrative corridor... the two cartels that service this area are going to be the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels," said Apodaca.

Marijuana is the moneymaker for cartels, said Apodaca. The criminal organizations control the drug from cultivation to distribution and don't have to pay suppliers in Asia and Latin America.

She said one of the most detrimental aspects of the global equation is the role of the U.S. Consumer.

"Although these traffickers are trying to distribute and they're looking for potential buyers in the United States, it is essentially the people of the United States that purchase it and distribute it, so it's unfortunate that they're willing to do that," Apodaca said.

The El Paso DEA Division encompasses all of New Mexico and West Texas and has made hefty drug seizures in the last three years. Below are the numbers.

COCAINE:
FY 2010: 1412.3 pounds
FY 2011: 907.42 pounds
FY 2012 (to date) 1268 pounds

HEROIN:
FY 2010: 52 pounds
FY 2011: 109 pounds
FY 20 (to date): 121 pounds

METH:
FY 2010: 136 pounds
FY 2011: 189 pounds
FY 2012 (to date): 131 pounds

MARIJUANA:
FY 2010: 73,167 pounds
FY 2011: 62,486 pounds
FY 2012 (to date): 20,241 pounds

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