DEA: Mexican Cartels In Chicago Are 'Hiding In Plain Sight' As They Run The City's Drug Game

mexican flag chicagoThe Hispanic population in Chicago is currently about 2 million.

Photo: Flickr/Edu-Tourist

Mexican cartels are using Chicago gangs to traffic billions of dollars worth of drugs while concealing themselves in the city’s Mexican population, Jason Howerton of The Blaze reports. Jack Riley, special agent in charge for the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), told The Blaze that drug cartels have designated the city as one of its main U.S. hubs of operations and their increasing presence in the city has contributed to the spiking murder rate, which is up 31 per cent from 2011.

Riley said the Mexican cartels are “the most organised, well-funded, vicious criminal organisations that we’ve ever seen,” adding that traditional mobsters don’t compare to the ruthless effectiveness of the Zeta and Sinaloa cartels. 

“[Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo”] Guzman is the new Al Capone, or Scarface, to Chicago,” Riley told The Blaze. “His ability to corrupt, his ability to enforce his sanctions and to really do with an endless supply of revenue is in my opinion far greater than older Italian organised crime.”

The cartels have the “perfect cover,” according to Riley, as they employ more than 100,000 “documented” local gang members to push cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamines in the streets while they blend into the sizable Hispanic crowd.

Riley was largely mum on the allegations made by Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the Sinaloa cartel’s “logistics coordinator” and son of Guzman’s right-hand man, that Guzman is a U.S. informant and the Sinaloa cartel was “given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago.”

Read the full interview at The Blaze >

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.