Mexican cartel continues to expand reach in U.S. - New York News

Mexican cartel continues to expand reach in U.S.

Posted: Updated:

By Adam Housley, Fox News

LOS ANGELES - Mexican drug cartels are said to be moving up California to move their product, and investigators say the groups are profiting and avoiding detection with the help of gang members.

From extortion schemes, to vicious violent crimes, to working with southern California street gangs -- are Mexican cartels strengthening their grip in California?

"I would say yes. And what concerns me is the political shift in Mexico, cause it, the shift, might make it even stronger in California," says Ventura County Assistant Sheriff Gary Pentis.

With a change in political leadership south of the border, there is a fear that the Mexican government might not crack down and fight the cartels like they have in recent years.

This concerns Ventura County Assistant Sheriff Gary Pentis, who already sees the cartels becoming more brazen.

"The cartel is here. It's in Los Angeles. They're recruiting from gangs in Compton, southwest, to do their work. It's about the money. I've never seen the street gangs ever have a position of authority. They're like labor. Ruthless labor," says Pentis.

Cartels have been working in California for years, but in an effort to make more money, avoid prosecution and strengthen, they have eliminated the middle man and now work directly with California street and prison gangs.

They are also going out of their way, literally, to extend authority over California drug trafficking by shipping drugs on boats several hundred miles north of the border.

"Where we're at a challenge is, they have an unconstrained budget. So they're moving to more sophisticated means of smuggling, particularly low-profile vessels that we call semi-submersible self-propelled vessels. And even with the potential of them developing fully-submersible, submarines if you will, to move their commodity, which again is worth billions of dollars," says Vice Admiral Paul Zukunft, United States Coast Guard.

A recent FBI report on U.S. gang activity asserts that nearly 4 in 10 U.S. gang members now have ties to Mexican drug cartels -- far more than any other outside group. And the number of gang members operating in the U.S. shot up 40% in just the past year to 1.4 million.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Friday Night Live: August 22, 2014

    Friday Night Live: August 22, 2014

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:34 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:34:20 GMT
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this episode: Ace Frehley, Big Sean, Week End Trends, and Chef Luca Manfé of MasterChef.
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this episode: Ace Frehley, Big Sean, Week End Trends, and Chef Luca Manfé of MasterChef.
  • Berg'n: new beer and food hall in Brooklyn

    Berg'n: new beer and food hall in Brooklyn

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:00:35 GMT
    The guys behind the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg are at it again with a new food and booze venue called Berg'n, a new beer hall in Crown Heights. The place doesn't officially open until August 27, 2014, but owners Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler are giving it a test run for special guests, family, and the press.
    The guys behind the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg are at it again with a new food and booze venue called Berg'n, a new beer hall in Crown Heights. The place doesn't officially open until August 27, 2014, but owners Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler are giving it a test run for special guests, family, and the press.
  • Giving your college-bound kids their space

    Giving your college-bound kids their space

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:31 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:31:50 GMT
    Going off to college is an exciting time for the entire family, especially for the upcoming freshman. But with technology, parents can be in touch all the time. What's too much and what's just enough? Freshman move-in day seems to be harder on the parents than the students at Stony Brook University.
    Going off to college is an exciting time for the entire family, especially for the upcoming freshman. But with technology, parents can be in touch all the time. What's too much and what's just enough? Freshman move-in day seems to be harder on the parents than the students at Stony Brook University.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices