The Los Angeles Times reports that the drug violence that has left nearly 4,000 people dead this year in Mexico is spreading deep into the United States, leaving a trail of slayings, kidnappings and other crimes in at least 195 cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Honolulu. The involvement of the top four Mexican drug-trafficking organizations in distribution and money-laundering on U.S. soil has brought a war once dismissed as a foreign affair to the doorstep of local communities.
In July, a brigade of well-armored federal and state police officers raided a house outside Atlanta that was a pivot point for a Mexican drug cartel. In the months after, several dozen suspects have been charged with moving drugs and money for Mexican traffickers through Atlanta, which has emerged as an important hub for thriving narcotics markets in the eastern United States. Few regions of the nation have been immune – even Anchorage reported activity by the Tijuana drug cartel led by the Arellano Felix family, according to federal law enforcement agencies.