In Watertown, Wi., 1,500 miles from Mexico, in a place that proudly proclaims itself the birthplace of kindergarten, Coco the cocaine kingpin flourished, reports the Associated Press. He came to the U.S. illegally, and used layers of family members and henchmen to build an operation that saturated southeastern Wisconsin with cocaine until authorities moved in. Then the players started falling – two dead in Mexico, nearly two dozen locked up in U.S. prisons. The AP says the story shows how far from the border Mexican drug dealers set up shop, easily infiltrate a town, hide in plain sight, and build a lucrative operation.
In the late 1990s, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department drug officers heard about a Hispanic drug ring moving about a pound of cocaine into the area every month. The AP tells the story of how investigators eventually brought charges against 21 people in the ring.