Tentacles of Mexican drug cartels reach into U.S. metropolitan areas like Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, St. Louis, and Charlotte, says CNN, quoting Drug Enforcement Administration agent Joseph Arabit. CNN is running a four-part series on the Mexican drug problem. A December 2008 report from the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center said Mexican drug traffickers can be found in more than 230 U.S. cities.
The violence that has spilled over into the U.S. has been restricted to the players in the drug trade — trafficker-on-trafficker. Law enforcement officials and analysts who spoke with CNN agree that it is only a matter of time before innocent people on the U.S. side get caught in the cartel crossfire. “It’s coming. I guarantee, it’s coming,” said the DEA’s Michael Sanders.