Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyers

Vegas Feeling Effects of Mexican Drug Cartels


Metro Police are finding more and more evidence of the growing existence of Mexican drug cartel presence in Vegas. According to the Las Vegas Sun, there used to be several steps between local dealers and the cartels. But, now some Vegas dealers can just call the cartels to get their supplies replenished.

In 2010, Kent Bitsko from a Nevada drug task force testified before a Senate subcommittee that there were “several degrees of separation” between local traffickers and the cartels. Back then, there were only four or five cases with direct ties to the cartels over a three year period.

Now, however, in just the past 18 months, officials have found five cases with direct ties to Mexico’s cartels.

The cartels are sending “splinter groups” into the Nevada area, representatives to basically case the place and find out what the demand is, and how much they can get away with before getting caught.

This means more drugs are coming to Vegas, being stashed in vehicles that travel straight from Mexico. No more are the drugs that come here simply staying in the area, Vegas may be turning into a hub for trafficking.

“We’ve done search warrants on homes and found (more than) 100 pounds of meth,” said Lt. Laz Chavez of Metro Police’s narcotics section. “There’s no way that much can be sold just in Las Vegas.”

For police, the new challenge is fighting drug traffickers with far more resources than them. Mexican drug cartels have an unlimited and ever-growing pool of wealth to draw from. Law enforcement does not.

One concern is that with the increased cartel presence will come increased related violence. In Mexico, it’s a common occurrence to read about beheadings and mass slayings related to the drug trade. Officials obviously don’t want that same level of violence to seep across the border.

In an effort to curb future cartel involvement, the Metro Police are doing everything possible to break up the units that are here, arresting numerous people rather than single dealers.

“We don’t consider it a success unless we can get eight or 10 or 15 of the people who are running the organization,” said Kent Bitsko, executive director of an interagency drug task force.

This doesn’t mean, however, that local cops won’t make arrests on local, small time dealers. They will. And the prosecutor will file charges.

If you are facing charges of possession, possession with intent to distribute or drug trafficking, we may be able to help. Call today for a free consultation on your case.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 13th, 2012 at 1:49 pm and is filed under drug charges. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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