Bales of marijuana are wheeled out at a news conference in Jonesboro, Ga. Forty-five people were arrested along with seizures  of cash, guns and more than two tons of drugs as part of a multi-agency crackdown into the Atlanta-area U.S. distribution hub of Mexico's La Familia drug cartel. Mexican drug cartels have long been the nation's No. 1 supplier of illegal drugs, but in the past, their operatives rarely ventured beyond the border. A wide-ranging Associated Press review of federal court cases and government drug-enforcement data, plus interviews with many top law enforcement officials, indicate the groups have begun deploying agents from their inner circles to the U.S.
Bales of marijuana are wheeled out at a news conference in Jonesboro, Ga. Forty-five people were arrested along with seizures of cash, guns and more than two tons of drugs as part of a multi-agency crackdown into the Atlanta-area U.S. distribution hub of Mexico's La Familia drug cartel. Mexican drug cartels have long been the nation's No. 1 supplier of illegal drugs, but in the past, their operatives rarely ventured beyond the border. A wide-ranging Associated Press review of federal court cases and government drug-enforcement data, plus interviews with many top law enforcement officials, indicate the groups have begun deploying agents from their inner circles to the U.S.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press .
published Monday, April 1st, 2013
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CHICAGO — Mexican drug cartels whose operatives once rarely ventured beyond the U.S. border are dispatching some of their most trusted agents to live and work deep inside the United States — an emboldened presence that experts believe is meant to tighten their grip on the world’s most lucrative narcotics market and maximize profits.

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