Feds arrest hundreds in U.S. raids of alleged Mexican drug cartel

The cartel controls a significant parts of the U.S. drug market

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Member of DEA in January 2019
Member of DEA in January 2019
(RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Updated: March 11, 2020 - 6:54pm

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Federal agents on Wednesday arrested roughly 250 people in raids across the U.S. that targeted members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel or CJNG.

The violent cartel, headed by Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera, controls as much as two-thirds of the U.S. drug market and has on one occasion even downed a Mexican military helicopter with rocket launchers, according to the Associated Press.

Authorities in recent months have arrested more than 600 people and seized roughly15,000 kilos of meth and almost $20 million, the wire service also reported. 

“El Mencho and his associates prey on the addicts, and they prey on small towns where they can act as bullies and infiltrate these small towns,” said Wendy Woolcok, the special agent in charge of Drug Enforcement Administration’s special operations division. “They promise hope, and they deliver despair.”

Authorities think that the gang operates what the AP described as "drug distribution hubs" in several major U.S. cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and New York.

The cartel is also thought to be in 24 of 32 Mexican states.

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