ATLANTA, GA (CBS46) With the conviction of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, CBS46 is learning more about the influence his cartel has on metro Atlanta.

“This is a huge victory,” said Robert Murphy, the special agent in charge of the DEA’s Atlanta office. “It’s a symbol that we need to show in this country that it may take 20 years but we’re going to get you.”

Murphy said El Chapo’s powerful Sinaloa cartel is one of two cartels that bring most of the drugs into our region from Mexico.

“Controlled everything in the Atlanta market, they controlled everything from drugs crossing into the United States, the distribution, the manufacturing and quite frankly this is where fentanyl being mixed with heroin started, this was Chapo Guzman’s idea.”

Murphy said cartels bring in the cocaine, meth, heroin and a large amount of marijuana that is found in metro Atlanta. The drugs are shipped into this area on trucks using our highways system, often hidden among legitimate deliveries.

Methamphetamine continues to be the drug seen the most by law enforcement in metro Atlanta. It’s cheap and addictive. Cartels bring in into the U.S. in liquid form and convert it in meth labs here.

“We can’t have this, we’re having too many people die and dropping dead, our kids, our children, our future, it’s a risk to our national security,” said Murphy.

While Guzman’s conviction won’t stop drug trafficking, Murphy said it has caused disruption among cartels and he’s confident it sends a message.

He said, “Who wants to raise their hand and be the next one because we keep chopping them off.”

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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