Excess data shows that the drug cartel business is booming, while the legal supply chain is struggling

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CHICAGO (WLS)-Disturbing new data shows that the number of deaths from drug overdose is at a record high in Chicago and across the country. Drug cartels continue to ship illegal products, while other supply lines around the world are struggling.

For drug cartels, planes, trains and cars are not a popular Thanksgiving movie. This is a description of their logistics machine.

Trucks, tunnels and even submarines have been left aside, and the authorities said the business continues even if the legal supply chain is in trouble.

On Wednesday, November 3, at Gary/Chicago International Airport, a private jet registered in Mexico arrived with a weight of 220 pounds. Cocaine, according to federal drug investigators. Investigators said the drugs were packed in several suitcases and then transferred to a waiting SUV.

“If they lose their burden, I mean, it might be the difference between life and death,” said Ed Farrell, owner of Silver Star Protection Group.

Farrell is also a former deputy marshal of the United States. He said that drug dealers always look for backdoors and stay away from more concerned places.

“They went to a farther airport, which tells me less scrutiny,” Farrell said.

Gary Airport officials said the plane had not been inspected because it had cleared customs in Houston a few hours before it took off from Toluca, Mexico.

According to the federal complaint, the 30-year-old Mexican Sebastian Vazquez-Gamez was among the crew on board. He allegedly went to Chicago’s Gold Coast and checked into a hotel on Chestnut Street, where U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents said they arrested him and confiscated cocaine there.

Also arrested were Alexis Jiménez-Perez, 25, of Columbus, Indiana, and Sergio Ivan Blas, 39, who were detained a day later.

Agents said that sales books found in Blass’ car showed hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug transactions. According to flight records, federal authorities have seized a $8 million jet aircraft allegedly used by the organization and transferred it to a hangar in Florida.

The plane flew to Gary, Texas from Mexico several times, and the authorities said they monitored it. The aviation website FlightAware publicly took photos of the jet at several airports in the United States and Mexico.

The agent in charge of the DEA in Chicago declined to discuss the Gary case, but stated that the cartel supply line was not affected by global shipping issues.

“Cartel uses all possible means to transport drugs from Mexico to the United States and then into the local market. In Chicago, this mainly means controlling the Chicago drug market,” said Robert Bell, the agent in charge of DEA in Chicago. “In the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, we seized more methamphetamine than in the entire fiscal year 2020.”

More illegal drugs are intercepted but also consumed, and a pirated mixture of the powerful analgesic fentanyl now causes 75% of drug overdose deaths in the Chicago area. The latest data from April 2020 to April 2021 shows that the number of drug overdose deaths in Cook County and the entire state of Illinois hit a record high. For the first time in a year, 100,000 Americans died from a drug overdose, a 30% increase.

Investigators said that 4 out of 10 counterfeit fentanyl pills tested contained lethal doses.

“When the Mexican cartel produced fentanyl on an industrial scale, there was very little quality control,” Bell said.

This is an overheated business, often boiling. In early November, a masked and heavily armed assault team attacked a beach resort in Cancun, Mexico, killing two people. Investigators believe this is a dispute between two rival cartels; the two cartels that control the entire illegal drug trade in Chicago.

The leaders of the two Mexican cartels are currently Chicago’s most wanted criminals. For the director of the Chicago Drug Enforcement Agency, in the cartel world, one truth remains the same.

“There is no such thing as nonviolent drug trafficking,” Bell said.

You will not hear the term “drug war” by Robert Bell of DEA.

“We did not wage war against our (own) citizens,” he said. “Or start a war against people with drug problems.”

He explained that the war has an end. He said that attempts to stop the circulation of drugs have never really ended.

Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. all rights reserved.

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