We Are At War

We Are At War

I live 181 miles from the Mexican border in Scottsdale, Arizona.  As I watch the news I am disheartened by the total void of stories describing what’s really happening on our southern border.  You cannot be in Washington D.C., on the East coast or in the Midwest and even begin to understand the war which is raging in the Southwest if you only listen to the media reports.  All media. The media is obsessed with politics because the American people have become obsessed with politics. But politics aside,  America is at war.  As much a war as we have ever experienced.

So, determined to tell the bigger story, two years ago I began to research, experience and document the devastation being wielded on this country and our children by cartels and drug traffickers who are raging war on the United States.  A silent war for the most part but felt by nearly every American family one way or another. This is not a political opinion piece.  It is a cry for awareness of a war that is utilizing chemical weaponry — every bit as lethal as the atrocities we see in Syria.

If you want to hear the truth, factual and unvarnished, read on.  Because if you believe you are safe 2000 miles away in the Midwest or beyond, think again. Arizona is a major entry point for a sophisticated network known as the Sinaloa Cartel, among others, due to its many miles of rugged terrain bordering Mexico.  And the cartels have tentacles reaching directly into Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Indiana where I grew up, so thus the focus of my research.  But make no mistake, those deadly fingers extend into the entire country. You will be frightened to read what I found, especially if you have children or grandchildren.  As one border agent stated, “The American public would have a heart attack if they actually knew what happens here every day”.

4:30 PM Monday, May 13, 2018 

Forty miles east of Nogales, Mexico two pickup trucks and a box truck are given an all-clear from a mile away over the crackle of a radio, as they approach the shabby fence humbly defining the U.S. Mexico border.  The two pickups were stolen in the United States and bear new U.S. license plates. The box truck, specially designed with a ramp on the back and the front, backs up to the fence.  The driver of one pickup uses the radio to call out codes written on a laminated card hanging around his neck.  Out of the brush on the U.S. side appear three men.  The rear ramp on the truck is lowered over the fence as the front ramp settles down to the ground over the hood.  The two pickups drive over the “ramp” without ever touching the fence or setting off any alarms.  The original drivers scurry back over the ramps and the box truck folds up and disappears.  Multiple firearms and 63 pounds of heroin head onto Highway 80 connecting to I-10 and arrive in Tucson two hours later.  The street value of the heroin: $3,143,000.
  • FACTS: Smugglers breech the U.S. border wall by cutting holes for humans and trucks, fabricating makeshift “bridges” and catapults, flying ultralight aircraft, digging tunnels or just walking across the Rio Grande.
  • Mexico is the predominant source of heroin in the United States.
  • Laws allowing marijuana to be legally grown in states like Colorado, Washington and California have caused shifts in the Mexican underworld as the cartels move away from its former cash cow of marijuana to traffic more heroin and methamphetamines.  Unintended consequences.
  • Heroin, known as Black Tar, Horse, Puppy Chow on the streets, is worth $110 to $200 per gram, sold mostly in 0.1-gram bags for $15 to $20.

7 PM Gas station in Tucson, Arizona

The pickup truck with heroin pulls up to the restroom and drops two backpacks loaded with heroin and drives away to its next drop off.  A man sitting in the parking lot picks up the packages and heads to Phoenix, two hours north, and a home in suburban Glendale.  There he receives payment from a “subcontractor” who carefully repackages the product into smaller amounts and conceals the individual bags into operational car batteries.

8 AM Tuesday, Phoenix, Arizona

Five car batteries are shipped by UPS to a farmhouse in Ohio . . . 50 minutes north of Cincinnati, where the Mexican Sinaloa cartel has established a regional distribution center.  At 7PM Thursday the batteries arrive in Oxford, Ohio and are installed into five vehicles; one heading to Cleveland, one to Akron, one to Indianapolis, another to Covington, KY and the final to Cincinnati.
  • FACTS: Product is moved through the United States mainly by trucks using the “bloodstream of America”, (phrase coined by cartels) which is the interstate highway system. Also, commonly used is UPS, Fed-X and the U.S. Postal System.
  • The cartels have developed a sophisticated infrastructure of distribution centers and marketing networks all over the nation that support more than $20 billion a year in drug cash back to Mexico.

8 PM Friday, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Covington, KY and Akron, Ohio

Local “pushers” are connected to regional distribution middlemen in fast food restaurants, quick marts, movie theaters, sports venues, etc., and thousands of 0.1 gram bags of heroin are sold to mostly kids and young adults on the streets.  35 will die in the United States before 2 AM Saturday due to a heroin overdose.
  • FACTS:  Cleveland, Ohio, May 10, 2018:   After a three-year investigation known as Operation Loaded Deck, the DEA seized 29 kilos of cocaine, 8 kilos of heroin, 1 kilo of fentanyl, hundreds of guns and $350,000 in cash from a distribution center (stash house) in Maple Heights.  The cartel ring leaders who operated the location regularly attended the Cavaliers basketball games, sitting courtside.  As one official put it, “Poppy plants don’t grow in Parma.  The millions in drug products come directly from Mexico.”
  • Akron, Ohio, April 3, 2018:   20 packages of heroin, shaped like bricks were discovered during a routine traffic stop on Route 8, along with five loaded guns, by a K9 dog who happened to be with the patrol car.
  • Northern Kentucky, February 2018:  St. Elizabeth Hospitals announced an alarming rise in heroin overdoses, which prompted the system to develop a new position — an addiction care coordinator.  The hospital system reported 765 cases of emergency room visits due to opioid-related issues.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio, February 2018:  300 grams of heroin and multiple guns were seized by the DEA and Ohio State Highway Patrol from a farmhouse in Oxford, Ohio, north of Cincinnati.  This location was set up to be the center of the Sinaloa Cartel heroin-trafficking ring, operating in the Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana markets.  Related money transfer receipts to Mexico were found in a house in Fairfield.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana:  Read the story. https://hoosierecon.com/2017/10/29/dea-report-mexican-drug-cartels-big-threat-to-indiana/

Heroin overdose more than quadrupled between 2010 and 2015, accounting for 12,989 American deaths in 2015, noting the highest percentage being in the Northeast and Midwest.

948,000 Americans reported using heroin in 2016 and 28.6 million Americans age 12+ “reported” using an illicit drug at least once per month.  68% were between the ages of 12 and 25.

I decided to finish this exposé this week as a result of all the media attention on the families with children story, which I believe is currently being politically motivated and exploited by people who just aren’t properly informed or are pushing another agenda.  Those same detention centers have been there a long time.  The border agents are decent people with a very hard job and are overwhelmed, horribly overwhelmed, by what’s happening in South America and Mexico.  They honestly are doing the best anyone can do.

It is a mess on so many levels and has been for many years.  I welcome anyone to visit the second floor of the Federal Building on West Congress Street in Tucson on any given weekday and watch as dozens of illegals parade into the courtroom all day long, in groups of seven, and stand aside the federal prosecutor who begins a daily routine of back and forth with the judge as her desk piles higher and higher with each file.

When America decides to focus on this very real and deadly issue of drug traffic coming across the Mexican border, which is infecting our very lives everyday all over the country, maybe we can all come together for the good of every human being caught in this hideous web of corruption that has been allowed to permeate our southern boundary.

We don’t just need a wall . . . we need an army.   Come see for yourself.

US Department of Justice DEA Oct 2015/2017
National Institute on Drug Abuse.gov
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
US Department of Health and Human Services
Common Sense for Drug Policy
News 5 Cleveland
Cincinnati Enquirer
USA Today Feb 2018
US Office of Drug Control Policy 2016