“Anonymous” for Borderland Beat
|Several border cities have interstate highways that connect to San Antonio, Texas, making it an important hub for Mexican drug cartels|
San Antonio, Texas — “It’s easier to hide in a bigger city than it is to hide in a smaller city,” says Dante Sorianello, the assistant special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in the San Antonio district.
San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the United States and according to the DEA – it’s one of the largest hubs for some drug trafficking cells that operate out of Mexico.
“From the DEA perspective, business has been very good but that’s also a negative because that means drug trafficking has been very good,” says Sorianello.
Much like a regular business, the San Antonio hub counts on plazas – which are major cartel drug trafficking routes from Mexico feeding into the U.S. to get their product into our country.
“So we’ve been very active so we’ve had to continually increase in enlarger investigative capabilities to handle that larger region,” says Sorianello.
Given the flow of drugs across the border with Mexico – the DEA is focusing its enforcement activities towards parts of the country with the highest need and that’s right here in our backyard.
“DEA reorganized the San Antonio district by adding additional people and management staff and split Austin and Waco, away from the San Antonio district,” says Sorianello. According to the DEA, the San Antonio district went from 50 to 33 counties, which’s now 33% of the U.S. border.
“And in turn, they gave the San Antonio district, counties, and about a third of the US border with the major metropolitan places, there being Del Rio and Eagle Pass with the border crossings,” says Sorianello.
“Because those counties all live within the U.S. Western Judicial District of Texas, and most of the drug trafficking that occurs in between Eagle Pass and Del Rio, the majority of that is normally headed through San Antonio.”
Massive amounts of drugs are coming into the U.S. through these two border cities. And it will take the combined efforts of the DEA with state and local agencies to get a portion of the drugs coming in and the guns and monies going south.
“Everyone has a piece of the puzzle, by all of us coming together and working together, we can much more effectively do the job,” says Sorianello.
Sources: Fox29 San Antonio
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