The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has disclosed that Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel is the greatest criminal threat to the United States despite its notorious leader Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán serving a life sentence.
In its 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment report released on Thursday, the Drug Enforcement Agency found that the criminal syndicate, founded in 1988, ‘maintains the most expansive footprint in the United States’.
The study found that El Chapo’s old cartel is among the Mexican groups that pose ‘the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States’ and that there are no other organizations in the distance that are ‘positioned to challenge them’.
“The Sinaloa Cartel maintains the most expansive footprint in the United States,’ the report stated. ‘While the Jalisco New Generation Cartel [Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación or CJNG] has become the second-most dominant domestic presence over the past few years.”
El Chapo’s cartel, which is one of the oldest trafficking organizations in Mexico, remains a strong presence in the United States. They still have the ‘most expansive international footprint’ compared to its rivals back home.
His son Iván Archivaldo Guzmán and two of his brothers Ovidio Guzmán López and Jesus Alfredo Guzmán known as ‘Los Chapitos’ are responsible for keeping the organization as the U.S. top fentanyl smuggler.
They are all wanted by U.S. authorities, along with Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada-Garcia, who helped the jailed drug lord establish the organization and is on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s [FBI] most wanted list.
The agency also revealed in the report that illegal sale of drugs in the U.S. generates tens of billions of dollars and the Sinaloa Cartel rakes at least $11 billion a year through its shipments of fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine across the borders in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas before the drugs are diverted to its distribution centres in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, and Chicago.
In July 2019, El Chapo was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years and also ordered to pay the U.S. government $12.9 billion.