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Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations [MDTOs]

Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations [MDTOs] are among the most prominent DTOs largely because of their control over the production of most drugs consumed in the United States. By 2009 as much as 90 percent of all cocaine entering the United States came through Mexico. Criminals in Mexico were the largest foreign suppliers of marijuana and major suppliers of methamphetamine. Apparently, crime pays: this criminal enterprise was estimated to produce annual revenues ranging from $25 to $40 billion.

Transnational criminal organizations based in Mexico with world-wide international connections continue to dominate the illegal drug supply chain and are continuing to expand their illegal activities throughout the United States. By 2013, an estimted 90 to 95 percent of all cocaine that enters the United States continued to pass through the Mexico/Central America corridor from the cocaine source countries further south Mexico remained the primary foreign source of marijuana and metham phetamine destined for USmarkets and was also a source and transit country for heroin. The same organizations that traffic in drugs also control the south-bound flow of drug-related bulk currency and illegal weapons.

They are known to regularly collaborate with US-based street and prison gang members and occasionally work with select OMG and White Supremacist groups, purely for financial gain. Gangs increased collaboration with MDTOs has altered the dynamics of the drug trade at the wholesale level. US gangs, which traditionally served as the primary organized retail or mid-level distributor of drugs in most major US cities, are now purchasing drugs directly from the cartels, thereby eliminating the mid-level wholesale dealer.

The prospect of financial gain is resulting in the suspension of traditional racial and ideological division among US prison gangs, providing MDTOs the means to further expand their influence over drug trafficking in the United States. Hispanic and African American street gangs are expanding their influence over drug distribution in rural and suburban areas and acquire drugs directly from MDTOs in Mexico or along the Southwest border. MDTOs contract with street and prison gangs along the Southwest border to enforce and secure smuggling operations in Mexico and the United States, particularly in California and Texas border communities.23 Gang members who are US citizens are valuable to MDTOs, as they can generally cross the US-Mexico border with less law enforcement scrutiny and are therefore less likely to have illicit drug loads interdicted.

MDTOs use street and prison gang members in Mexico, Texas, and California to protect smuggling routes, collect debts, transport illicit goods, including drugs and weapons, and execute rival traffickers.25 Many of these crimes are committed in exchange for money and drugs, and as a result, street and prison gangs in the United States have gained greater control over drug distribution in rural and suburban areas. Gang members, including Barrio Azteca, MS-13 and Sureos have been intercepted driving with weapons and currency toward Mexico from such states as California, Colorado, Georgia, and Texas.




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