Sinaloa Cartel’s Takeover of Chicago Drug Trade

Bloomberg has an article on the Sinaloa cartel’s complete takeover of Chicago’s drug trade.

Coming to a city near you.

…Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel supplies 80 percent of the heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine — with a street value of $3 billion — that floods the Chicago region each year, the DEA says…

Guzman, who’s now in his late 50s, has seized control of the supply and wholesale distribution of drugs in Chicago and much of the Midwest.

This steady flow of dangerous substances is sparking pitched and often deadly turf wars between Chicago’s splintered, largely African-American and Latino gangs…

The vibrancy we all enjoy from Mexican neighborhoods in U.S. cities is the throughway:

The pipeline of Sinaloa drugs to Chicago runs through the predominantly Mexican neighborhood known as Little Village on the city’s southwest side, authorities say…

In a 2006 conversation monitored by Mexican police, Guzman said he wanted to make America’s third-largest city his “home port.”

He’s done that, says Art Bilek, a retired detective who’s executive vice president of the Chicago Crime Commission, a public-safety group that in February named Guzman the city’s public enemy No. 1.

“We had freelance distributors in Chicago before,” Bilek says. “Guzman has taken them over one by one. He centralized everything — the shipping, warehousing and distribution of drugs, and the collection and transport of money back to Mexico.”

Chicago had cartel drugs in the past but not cartel leaders, Bilek says.

“Now, Guzman has top people in here to make sure things run smoothly,” he says.

Case in point:

Luis Lopez says he’s proud to be a Two-Six member. Since grade school, he says, he never wanted to do anything but join members of his extended family in the gang. From the sidelines of a softball game in July, Lopez, 18, describes the links between Little Village and Mexican smuggling.

“Since we’re Latino, we know more people who are tied to the cartel,” he says. “The black guys, they need us for drugs and guns because we have the right connection.”

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