Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is known by many to be the Trap God of the world. The Mexican kingpin made headlines after this summer after his escape from maximum security prison across the border through a tunnel. He was able to do so because his money is longer than the equator. El Chapo has amassed billions from the sale of cannabis, cocaine and heroin through his Sinaloa Cartel. The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has labeled El Chapo “the greatest criminal drug threat to the US.” For the first time ever, the DEA has released information showing El Chapo’s reach into the country, including Alaska and Hawaii.
The DEA’s Strategic Intelligence Section released its unclassified report entitled “” in July. The report shows the influence of Mexican drug organizations on America by the state. An excerpt from the report reads, “The Sinaloa Cartel maintains the most significant presence in the U.S. They are the dominant TCO [Transnational Criminal Organization] along the West Coast, through the Midwest, and into the Northeast.”
Forbes describes cartel activity in the US:
While rival Mexican criminal organizations, such as the Gulf, Juárez and Zetas cartels, limit their areas of influence to the Southwest of the United States, nearly the entire U.S. is under the influence of the Sinaloa cartel, according to the DEA.
As of May 2015, the DEA identified eight Mexican cartels operating inside the U.S.: the Sinaloa Cartel, Gulf Cartel, Juárez Cartel, Knights Templar, the Beltran-Leyva Organization, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, Los Zetas and Las Moicas.
“No other group is currently positioned to challenge them,” the DEA said in its report. It calls the Mexican cartels the single largest drug threat to America.
The report also shows the El Chapo’s influence on the growing heroin epidemic surging throughout the nation, and the heroin deaths by state:
It was reported months ago that the DEA had a deal with El Chapo and the Sinaloa Cartel, allowing the cartel to run drugs into the country (mainly Chicago, where they supply 80% of the illicit drugs sold) in exchange for information on rivals. Maybe with El Chapo’s escape and the mounting attention brought to his relationship to corrupt authority figures has changed things.
View the DEA’s map below (the Sinaloa Cartel activity is represented by the color orange). Read the DEA’s full report here.