A nine-month investigation by The Oregonian found what the newspaper called “the astonishing reach of Mexican drug cartels in the Northwest.” Cartels including the powerful Sinaloa and the brutal Los Zetas have infiltrated almost every corner of Oregon. At last count, authorities were aware of no fewer than 69 drug trafficking organizations selling drugs in the state, nearly all supplied by cartels.
Police have taken down drug operations cloaked as a restaurant and a grocery. They’ve busted traffickers and intercepted shipments from Oregon traffickers as far away as Texas, Minnesota, and Florida. Cartels and their allies control nearly every ounce of heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine flowing into the region, investigators say. They dominate the marijuana market, tearing up Oregon forests for massive plantations. They “exact an unfathomable toll in lives ruined and cut short by drug abuse,” The Oregonian says.