U.S. identifies 8 Sinaloa cartel leaders along AZ-Mexico border - CBS46 News

U.S. identifies 8 Sinaloa cartel leaders along AZ-Mexico border

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The U.S. Department of Treasury released a map identifying eight Sinaloa drug cartel bosses that operate along the Arizona-Mexico border.

The Valley has seen its fair share of drug cartel-related crime. But experts tell us this information won't have any impact on that crime unless we do something about it.

"I've been here 27 years and still going strong," said Jesse Arreola, the owner of Mercado Mexico in Guadalupe. He sells authentic art and decor imported from our neighbors down south. But he says over the years, his business has changed.

"I used to get vendors, I would say three or four vendors a day," Arreola said. "Now, three or four vendors a month."

Arreola said it's too dangerous for them to travel from Mexico due to drug cartel activity.

"I've heard some of my vendors getting stopped in the road, during the day," Arreola said. "They take their merchandise, they beat them up, take their money."

But the Treasury Department knows enough about drug cartels to release a map identifying the eight Sinaloa cartel bosses and the regions they control.

"They're very organized," said former Mesa police detective and narcotics expert Bill Richardson. "Phoenix is a primary link in the supply chain of Mexico-based organized crime."

Richardson said prohibiting anyone from doing business with these cartel bosses and freezing their U.S. assets is not enough.

"If we allow them to continue to make money, they are going to use that money to influence the United States," Richardson said.

Despite seeing several shops like his in the Valley close down because vendors are traveling less, Arreola said business is good and hopes it stays that way.

"I will continue doing this business, and my family, my daughters, I hope they like it and will continue the same business," Arreola said.

These cartel bosses were identified under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, which became law in 1999 to identify foreign narcotics traffickers, prevent them using our financial system and stop all trade with them. To see the map, visit http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/20130507_sinaloa_bosses.pdf.  

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