Michael Webster
American's most dangerous gangs working for Mexican Drug Cartels
By Michael Webster
May 4, 2009

American gangs are operating throughout the country representing the Mexican Drug Cartels (MDC's), they get their drugs from the cartels smuggled into this country by the MDC's foot solders in turn the U.S. gangs sale the fronted drugs to street dealers consisting mainly of smaller gangs, dealers and drug attic's supporting their habits. The U.S. gangs are fronted the drugs and they set up drug trafficking operations and distribution systems throughout the country. They represent the MDC's by collecting millions owed by U.S. street dealers. They also act as enforcers for the cartels whenever the cartels feel they have been ripped off or someone owes the cartels money from fronted drugs. Many of the so called common drive by shootings are no longer just over turf or gang ego. Many of these deaths are ordered executions by the MDC's. Today the gang business is much more dangerous and sophisticated with much more cash involved. These same gangs carrying out cartel orders with gangland style killings across the country acting as paid hit men killing, wounding and maiming.

The Mexican mafia, Mara Salvatrucha M-13 and many other gangsters are managed by gang leaders operating from state prisons like California, pulling the strings by manipulating their gang solders on the streets. M-13 members show no fear of law enforcement. There can be no denial that MS-13 is very active in smuggling people, drugs, and guns across the border. And independent reports indicate that many illegal immigrants have been assaulted, robbed, and even raped by MS-13 members. They are not easily intimidated and frequently act defiantly. M-13 gang members have been responsible for the execution of three federal agents and numerous shootings of law enforcement officers across the country. M-13 gang members have been known to booby-trap their drug stash houses using antipersonnel grenades on the assumption that these structures will be searched by law enforcement.

One of the more unusual aspects of MS-13 when compared to other street gangs is that it is extremely flexible in its activity. According to Washington, D.C.-based, think tank the Maldon Institute, MS-13 has, with increasing frequency, resorted to leaving a dismembered corpse, complete with a decapitated head, as a calling card. Recently, according to the report, such a grisly message was left with a note for the Honduran president.

While some gangs are only into drugs, MS-13's slogan is "we will do any crime at any time."

FBI Director Robert Mueller has declared Mara Salvatrucha MS-13 the top priority of the bureau's criminal-enterprise branch-which targets organized crime-and authorized the creation of a new national task force to combat it. The task force, which includes agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), they are attempting to take on MS-13 much like the FBI once tackled the Mafia.

Today this is a much bigger problem than the Mafia was. Singling out one gang like MS-13 is unique because they are numerous, multinational, and well organized.

MS-13 is made up of an estimated 20,000 members in all 50 states in the United States and tens of thousands more in Central America, with overall total worldwide gang population in the millions. However MS-13 is considered the fastest-growing, most violent and least understood of the nation's street gangs-in part because after 911 U.S. law enforcement was more focused on terrorism and was not watching the gang's activities as closely as they should have. As politicians and other authorities focused their attention on the war against terrorism, MS-13 and other gangs proliferated. In the FBI's D.C. field office, the number of agents dedicated to gang investigations declined by 50 percent. "There was a definite shift in resources post-9/11 toward terrorism," says Michael Mason, assistant director in charge of that office. "As a result, we had fewer resources to focus on gangs," though he adds that the bureau made up for any shortfall by leveraging resources from other agencies.

Robert Clifford, head of the national task force, has said "no single law-enforcement action is really going to deal the type of blow" necessary to dismantle the gang. No one is more interested in busting up MS-13 than leaders of the Latino community, who live with the fear and fallout of the gang's savage drug dealing and murderous actions.

Newsweek reports that MS-13 got started in Los Angeles in the 1980s by Salvadorans fleeing a civil war. Many of the kids grew up surrounded by violence. Del Hendrixson of Bajito Onda, a gang-outreach program, remembers an MS-13 member who recounted one of his earliest memories: guarding the family's crops at the age of 4, armed with a machete, alone at night. When he and others reached the mean streets of the L.A. ghetto, Mexican gangs preyed on them. The newcomers' response: to band together in a mara, or "posse," composed of salvatruchas, or "street-tough Salvadorans" (the "13" is a gang number associated with southern California). Over time, the gang's ranks grew, adding former paramilitaries with weapons training and a taste for atrocity.

MS-13 eventually adopted a variety of criminal activity which includes extortion, kidnapping, gunrunning and protection rackets. Shops and bars have been burned down in Mexico for not paying up. Recently, big businesses, including multinationals, have become targets, with threats against warehouses and factories if payments are not made. Drug trafficking, human trafficking, prostitution, protection rackets, murder, assassinations, executions even beheadings are there mainstay.

Large scale criminal drug organizations such as the once powerful Cali cartel in Colombia and now the Mexican Drug Cartels are said to resemble corporate organizations with divisions operating and controlling most drugs in the western hemisphere.

At the top of the multinational corporate type structure the organizational chart if you will in this hemisphere is South America's cocaine production and processing business which encompass Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru and other South American countries. After processing the cocaine it is then shipped by tons to Mexico and other Central American countries where various Mexican Drug Cartels arrange to have it transported via the cartels valuable and often fought over smuggling routes into the United States.

Side by side at the top of the chart from the Eastern Hemisphere is the Middle East, mainly Afghanistan with its opium production and processing industry. After processing the opiates are sold to major drug traffickers in Pakistan who in turn sale to traffickers in Iran, Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries and former Soviet Union countries, that in turn smuggle large quantity of finished product to Europe and South America distend for the states.

PBS's FrontLine reports that what keep the drug industry going are its huge profit margins. Producing drugs is a very cheap process. Like any commodities business the closer you are to the source the cheaper the product. Processed cocaine is available in Colombia for $1500 dollars per kilo and sold on the streets of America for as much as $66,000 a kilo (retail). Heroin costs $2,600/kilo in Pakistan, but can be sold on the streets of America for $130,000/kilo (retail). And synthetics like methamphetamine are often even cheaper to manufacture costing approximately $300 to $500 per kilo to produce in clandestine labs in Mexico, US and abroad and sold on US streets for up to $60,000/kilo (retail).

The C.I.A and other U.S. Intelligence sources say that synthetics like ice amphetamines and designer drugs and Ecstasy are garnering a larger and larger share of the U.S. market.

In Mexico, drug money has become a big part of the overall Mexican economy just how much is hard to tell the exact percentage but many parts of Mexico have been primarily dependent on poppy and marijuana production for decades.

Two of Mexico's deadliest drug cartels have reached a combined force of 100,000 foot soldiers, wreaking havoc across the country and threatening U.S. border states, the U.S. Defense Department told The Washington Times.

The cartels rival the Mexican army in size and have both Mexico and the U.S. in crisis mode as they deal with what they fear is a coming insurgency along the border.

"It's moving to crisis proportions," an unidentified defense official told The Times. The official also said the cartels have reached a size where they are on par with Mexico's army of 130,000 troops.

When U.S. law enforcement cracked down and deported planeloads of M-13 members, the deportees quickly created MS-13 outposts in El Salvador and neighboring countries like Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua Panama and Guatemala and many returned here.

A top al Qaeda lieutenant has met with leaders of M-13 members in an effort by the terrorist network to seek help infiltrating the U.S.-Mexico border, law enforcement authorities said. Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, a key al Qaeda cell leader for whom the U.S. government has offered a $5 million reward, was spotted in Honduras meeting with leaders of El Salvador's notorious Mara Salvatrucha gang. Intelligence officials in Washington have also warned national law enforcement agencies that al-Qaeda terrorists have been spotted with members of MS-13 in El Salvador, prompting concerns the gang may be smuggling Islamic fundamentalist terrorists into the country.

To combat the new and sophisticated and extremely dangerous M-13 the U.S. Government created a variety of special task forces to try and deal with them. As early as 2007 the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Task Force set up Operation Joker's Wild, a three-year investigation.

The resulting indictments are the direct outcome of that endeavor. 102 members and associates of F-13 were charged with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and RICO conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, violent crimes in aid of racketeering (VICAR) and Felon in Possession of Ammunition. The VICAR charges relate to the defendants alleged involvement in the kidnapping and sexual assault of two juveniles.

That involved the arrests and convictions of the Florencia 13 Gang also known as the Mexican Mafia, they staged attacks against African-American gangs in a bid to control drug trafficking in South Los Angeles Neighborhoods. Florencia 13 (F13), were involved in narcotics distribution along with the shootings and were convicted on a host of federal criminal charges, including racketeering and narcotics distribution.

More than 76 of those defendants have been convicted, either at trial or as a result of guilty pleas. Those indictments had represented one of the largest gang takedowns in American history. Than Fresno police arrested 153 in a street-gang operation, 94 on felony charges, during an operation aimed at street gangs in southeast Fresno. Soon after that the Fresno Police Department wrapped up a five-day gang sweep making 258 arrests, including 121 felonies.

Source: CBS 47 Date: April 20, 2009

Than there was the granddaddy of them all, it again was in Fresno, CA where a 1000 plus gang members were arrested and most if not all were mainly members of the notorious BullDogs gang. This was after a three week crime suppression effort, called "Operation Gangs and Guns" now makes it the largest known arrest of gang members at one time in the U.S.

Source: KSEE 24 News Date: December 30, 2008

Just last week two dozen individuals associated with the Mexican Mafia and other Hispanic street gangs were also charged federally for their roles in a narcotics distribution ring operating in the San Fernando Valley in SoCal.

The investigation was initiated early last year by the LAPD and the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force to address gang-related crime in the San Fernando Valley. The investigation focused on identifying and disrupting drug trafficking organizations and related violence carried out by Hispanic gangs associated with the Mexican Mafia. Said, Michael Moore, Deputy Chief of LAPD's Valley Operations Bureau.

According to Mexican sources and the Mexican press it was said that during U.S. President Obama's visit to Mexico last month Mexican President Colderon shocked the world by telling Obama that there is clearly government corruption on both sides of the border and until that can be dealt with effectively the war on drugs cannot be won.

There will be many more new and expensive investigations, arrests and convictions of these rich and dangerous American gangs as they have become deeply woven into the basic fabric of the American landscape. This is but the tip of the iceberg of the billions more to be spent by the U.S. government on the current day so called War On Drugs.

The World's Most Dangerous Gangs Video

More related articles:

Mexico claims U.S. Government also corrupted

Mexico's Catholic Church and President Felipe Calderon Charge U.S. with Corruption

Corruption is common on both sides of the border where cash is king

Mexican Cartel Gangs

Mexican cartel drug war costing U.S.U.S. Gangs are Big and Dangerous Business and making alliances in other states and countries

Mexican Drug Cartels Out of Control in the U.S. and Mexico

Mexican Drug cartels terror reaches deep into the U.S.

The War on Drugs has become the longest most costly and dangerous war in American history.

10 Extremely Dangerous Gangs Ash Grant

Sources: PBS FrontLine, Newsweek, Mara Salvatrucha MS-13 (Mexican Mafia), ICE, FBI, DEA, ATF, LAPD, Fresno PD, KSEE 24 News, CBS 47, Maldon Institute, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS (NAFBPO )

Mexico's President Calderon

M-3 Report

Mexican Catholic Church publication

El Universal Newspaper

The Mexican National Defense Department (Sedena)

The Mexican Federal Attorney General

Carlos Rico, Mexico's under-secretary of foreign affairs for North America


© Michael Webster


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Michael Webster

Michael Webster's Syndicated Investigative Reports are read worldwide, in 100 or more U.S. outlets and in at least 136 countries and territories. He publishes articles in association with global news agencies and media information services with more than 350 news affiliates in 136 countries... (more)


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