NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced this week that Meth is the number one drug submitted by law enforcement agencies across Tennessee.
An expert on drug smuggling says the Mexican drug cartels are largely responsible for the major drug shipments that infiltrate this country.
Whether it’s meth, coke or marijuana, a local interdiction agent, who has helped teach border patrol agents what to look for, says the cartel is either directly responsible or signs off on the shipments entering the USA.
“This is a multi-billion dollar business,” the agent who wishes to stay anonymous says. “These people, if they wanted to, would be very successful at any business, but they chose this business because it is what they know.”
The drug agent told News 2 the cartels have long been in major cities, like Nashville. But like any business looking to improve operations, they have set up in rural counties where chances of success are higher because there are fewer law officers with less money and fewer resources.
“We are seeing in very rural counties, stash houses being set up where trucks with 50 kilos of cocaine will go to a rural county, pull it out, put it in a local vehicle and traffic 10 kilos to Davidson County and 10 kilos to Montgomery County. Again they are exploiting the smaller more rural areas because of a lack of a larger law enforcement presence.”
According to the drug agent, like any successful corporation, the cartel is changing, adapting, and trying to stay one step ahead of the law.
“Once we find narcotics in a gas tank or spare tire they will change it to a compartment in the dash or a console and once that is caught they will rotate it to a roof or a trailer with a false wall. They are always adapting and changing. And quite honestly the court system, when we testify in court we have to lay everything out, that’s the nature of the game and when you teach a criminal how you caught them, a smart criminal doesn’t make the same mistake twice.”
They are now utilizing the already established smuggling routes the cartel has in Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico to bring it up through the most porous regions of the U.S. border in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. And they are coming up through trapped out compartment cars or body packing it around their body and walking it across the bridge.
The Drug Agent says the Cartels are business-like. They saw a market in America for meth when the shake and bake epidemics were curtailed thanks to law enforcement crackdowns and tighter restrictions on drugs necessary to produce the drug.
“If you remember 10 years ago, Tennessee was always in the top three in the country for Meth labs. And now you never hear of a Meth lab. Part of that is due to the legislative body listening to law enforcement and making it harder to get the precursor, Pseudo Ephedrine. On top of that, the Mexican cartels started doing what we call super cooks in Mexico. Instead of a shake and bake here, where they’d get a few ounces at most, they are cooking in fifty-gallon drums. A kilo of Meth 10 years ago was $30,000 a kilo. Now you can find it for $5,000 a kilo. They have supersaturated the market in order to take over the market in hopes that the addiction to Meth is so great that once they corner the market, they will raise the price. Just basic business.”
Drug agents say even if the Mexican cartels were obliterated, it would not take too long for some other entity to fill that void simply because there is so much profit to be made.