Drug cartel gangsters waging a criminal insurgency against Mexican society are making the Houston area their marketplace of choice, as they spend millions of dollars statewide buying military-style weapons and ammunition, reports the Houston Chronicle. Gangsters have honed in on Houston because of its glut of gun shops, its proximity to the border, and its long-established networks for smuggling narcotics into the U.S., federal law-enforcement officials said. The surge in fraudulent purchases comes as more than 4,000 people have died in Mexico’s criminal underworld violence this year.
Authorities point to many crimes, including the infamous 2007 Acapulco Massacre, to illustrate the carnage brought on by Houston-bought guns in the hands of ruthless killers. “Our investigations show Houston is the top source for firearms going into Mexico, top source in the country,” said J. Dewey Webb, agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Houston division. Mexican agents last month found 500,000 rounds of ammunition and 540 guns at a stash house near the border. Preliminary information indicates many of the guns came from the Houston area. “It is more weapons than you would need to supply an army,” Mexico Attorney General Eduardo Medina-Mora said.