Drug Cartels in the U.S.

She hardly looks like a drug trafficker, but looks, as they say, can be deceiving. Joanne Marian Segovia, 64, a glamorous grandmotherly drug dealer, was recently arrested at her home in a gated community in San Jose, California. She had received some sixty shipments of illegal drugs, including lethal Fentanyl, from Hong Kong, Hungary, India and elsewhere that she in turn conveyed to cartel members for delivery and sale across the U.S. She got away with this for some years because she had been a police union director supposedly fighting the drugs she was profiting from. This is the nightmare of law enforcement – one pf their own gone bad.

Her neighbors were stunned. How could this friendly grandmother, always talking affectionately about her grandchildren, be so criminally involved? “She was the kind of person who would have chocolate cookies ready for the kids,” a close neighbor of Segovia told the New York Post. In fact, one of the drug packages she received was labeled “Chocolate Sweets.” The cartels are adept at finding the perfect cover. The DEA does its best to uncover such a ruse, but its annual budget is three billion dollars  compared to the near two hundred billion dollars spent so far on the war in Ukraine with a far distant border.

Across the continent in Providence, Rhode Island, Rafael Jimenez-Martinez was the center of drug distribution in the Northeast – plenty of Fentanyl and white powder cocaine for endless demand. Though he had been twice deported and served a five-year sentence for his activities, he was well supplied with drugs from California (Segovia, maybe? and seemed unstoppable. But he was not part of the Mexican setup where family loyalty served to protect members. He was working with dealers from the Dominican Republic, say investigators, and they want to turn a fast back as quickly as possible. Jimenez-Martinez was their man. No one was faster at picking up drugs, delivering and selling them. An also vulnerable to alert law enforcement.

He had taken other steps to avoid detection like dipping his fingertips in acid to burn off his fingerprints and assuming various aliases like Carlos, Ismael and Junior. He changed license plates according to where he was driving. But he was caught on wiretap complaining to cartel members about money. In June he was given a fifteen-year prison sentence. It was noted in court that he had delivered enough Fentanyl to wipe out the entire population of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. 

In contrast to the rest of the media the Louisville Courier Journal provides serious coverage of the drug cartels in both Mexico and the U.S. Jimenez-Martinez is typical. But much more attention, not to say action is needed. The current open border allows drugs and unknown people to pour into the country and also agents of the cartels who add to their extensive and underestimated network in the U.S. It is fast becoming a solid component of the country much to its detriment.

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