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The Long Reach of Foreign Drug Traffickers in Baltimore

In the rough streets of Baltimore, the influence of foreign drug dealers may not be obvious — that is until you do some digging. Reporter Van Smith has done just that, and connected the dots in this report.

The logo of the Los Zetas Cartel/baltimore city paper
The logo of the Los Zetas Cartel/baltimore city paper

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper

BALTIMORE — “The goal of any drug dealer is to cut out as many middle men as possible in order to increase profits.”

That statement was made by Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein a year ago, when he unveiled Operation Xcellerator, a U.S. Justice Department initiative aimed at laying low the long reach of the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico.

“I do believe,” he said at the time, “there are Baltimore drug dealers who do this by having connections with drug distributors outside of the U.S.” He vowed to “continue to trace the drugs back to the source, work our way to the top, and ultimately indict the major players.”

Since then, law enforcers here have successfully ferreted out some international ties to Baltimore’s entrenched drug economy. Though Rosenstein’s office points to only one Xcellerator case in Baltimore–a conspiracy with ties to Hollywood and Baltimore City Hall (“Mexican Connection,” Mobtown Beat, March 4, 2009)–City Paper has found three recent examples of evidence filed in U.S. District Court that indicate direct ties between Baltimore and foreign sources of supply, including the fearsome Los Zetas cartel in Mexico.

To read the full story click here.


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