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Friday, July 29, 2011

Sting Operation Illuminates Vast Mexican Drug Distribution System In U.S.

Mexican federal police guard a U.S. embassy vehicle after it was attacked by gunmen in February.(AP)

Mexican federal police guard a U.S. embassy vehicle after it was attacked by gunmen in February.(AP)

For nearly two years, U.S. federal agents listened in on thousands of calls and followed hundreds of people as they transported tons of illegal drugs from the U.S. Mexican border to almost every part of North America.

The operation, which ended in 2007, was one of the largest and most successful sting operations in the history of U.S. drug enforcement, netting 18 tons of cocaine and marijuana, 402 indictments, and $51 million in cash and property.

Los Angeles Times reporter Richard Marosi told Here and Now‘s Robin Young that its provided an unprecedented look at the distribution network of drugs in the U.S.

“We know a lot about the drug industry in Mexico, but this is the first time we have such a complete picture of how drugs get from the border to U.S. streets,” he said.

Marosi just published a four parts series “Inside The Cartel,” after interviewing U.S. drug agents, prosecutors, local police, drug cartel operatives, and reviewing hundreds of pages of investigative reports and court documents.

Guest:

  • Richard Marosi, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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