Mexican Kingpin Arrested, Puts Dent in Drug Cartel

The AP reported over the weekend that Osiel Cardenas, reputed leader of a Mexican drug cartel, was arrested near Brownsville, TX. The arrest came after a gun battle with Mexican troops in Matamoros, a border city. He is allegedly one of the last remaining kingpins from the Mexican cartels and now the groups are smaller and possibly smarter, according to the report, as they seem to be working together in some ways. But, without question the capture of Cardenas puts a serious dent in the larger, organized operations.
Criminal groups operating from Mexico smuggle cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, amphetamine and marijuana into the United States across the southwest border and have distributed heroin and marijuana throughout the country since the 1970’s. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) states that nearly all of the heroin produced in Mexico is destined for distribution in the United States. This heroin is commonly called "black tar" heroin, for it is a dark, sticky substance derived from opium poppies cultivated for production of the drug.
Once it gets into the U.S., there are reports of 1.75 kilograms and 1.5 kilograms of high-purity Mexican black tar heroin selling for $120,000 in Texas and possibly other bordering states.
Though news of a big drug bust or cartel leader arrest may bring hope to those doubting whether the “war on drugs” is doing any good, one must not forget that it takes a multi-faceted effort, which includes effective education and rehabilitation. For every shipment stopped at the boarder, there are potentially hundreds or more that make it onto the streets of America, which brings us to the story of Freddie.
Freddie was a laborer living in New Mexico who ended up becoming addicted to black tar heroin. In the mid 90’s Freddie found help at a program called Narconon that operated a center in neighboring Oklahoma using the drug rehabilitation methodology developed by L. Ron Hubbard. Much like Narconon’s founder, Willie Benitez, Freddie had all but given up on himself. “Upon arriving at Narconon,” recalls Freddie, “I firmly believed that this was just another program and counted the days until I could return to my life of crime and drugs. Much to my disbelief, I was surrounded by staff who honestly cared and understood me…I began to experience a sense of well-being and hope.”
Freddie has now been free from his heroin addiction and life of crime for seven years and, again like Benitez, decided to devote his life to ensuring others get off drugs and have a chance to live life again.

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