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Officials Highlight Presence of Mexican Drug Cartels in United States

The idea of drug cartels going beyond Hollywood movies and Mexican Drug Lords and into local U.S. neighborhoods seems unheard of, unless you take a closer look. According to a CNS News report, Mexican drug cartels are being targeted inside the United States more than along the Mexican border.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano noted last week that cartels are operating throughout the country. Now David Johnson, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, has confirmed the same thing at a State Department press briefing.

According to Johnson, U.S. law enforcement agencies are in charge of combating the cartels and much of the success has been on American soil.

“Yes, there’s a broad impact in the United States of cartel operations that are based inland from Mexico,” Johnson told CNS News. “I think that illustrates another point that bears some exploring. When people think about, quote end quote, ‘spillover,’ you tend to think of a glass and things that are spilling over right at the border.

“It doesn’t tend to be that way,” Johnson said. “The spillover, if you will, is more broadly in the United States, and some of the border communities would be not nearly as effective than (sic) as some of the more inland areas are.”

Napolitano testified on February 24 at a hearing on the Department of Homeland Security 2010 Budget before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. She noted that drug cartel operations are widespread in the United States.

She highlighted that the United States must continue a concerted and sustained effort against the cartels. These drug rings have fingertips in the communities across the United States. Napolitano also noted that the organization is very excited by the progress against the Mexican drug cartels.

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