Pubdate: Mon, 01 Aug 2005
Source: United Press International (Wire)
Copyright: 2005 United Press International


Drug traffickers from Mexico have supplanted Colombians as major illegal 
drug smugglers, sneaking some $400 billion worth of drugs into the United 

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officials told Knight-Ridder newspapers 
authorities in Mexico are not powerful enough to deal with the drug 
runners. Mexican gangs reportedly smuggle cocaine, heroin, marijuana and 
methamphetamine into the United States.

More than 30 tunnels under the U.S.-Mexican border have been discovered and 
U.S. officials fear smugglers could allow the tunnels to be used by 
terrorists trying to get into the United States.

Anthony Placido, a DEA intelligence officer, testified before Congress that 
Mexican gangs have links to drug groups in others counties and also "street 
gangs, prison gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs, who conduct most of the 
retail and street-level distribution throughout the country," the report said.

The DEA identified staging areas for Mexican drug smuggling in more than a 
dozen cities -- Albuquerque; Brownsville, Texas; Dallas; El Paso, Texas; 
Houston; Laredo, Texas; Los Angeles; McAllen, Texas; Oklahoma City; 
Phoenix; Tulsa, Okla.; San Antonio; San Diego and Tucson, Ariz.
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