Mexican Drug Cartels Biggest Threat To Texas And Its Residents

The Department of Public safety is out with its 2013 Texas Public Safety Threat Overview and it singles out Mexican cartels as the most significant organized crime threat to the state and its people.

The report identifies Mexican drug cartels as the most significant organized crime threat to the state.

Six of eight cartels currently have command and control networks operating in the state. They move people, drugs, cash, weapons, and stolen merchandise back and forth across the border.

"The impact of cartel crime is painfully obvious when we look to our neighbors in Mexico, with some 60,000 deaths since 2006 and continued cases of brutal torture," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "It is a top DPS priority to severely obstruct the range and power of Mexican drug organizations to affect the public safety of Texas citizens."

Other key findings in the report:

Statewide prison gangs pose the second most significant organized crime threat in Texas. Many gangs now work directly with the Mexican cartels, gaining substantial profits from drugs and human trafficking. Prison gangs operate within and outside the prison system, and are responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crime.

Undocumented criminals, who may not be affiliated with cartels and gangs, also pose a threat. From October 2008 to December 2012, Texas identified a total of 141,982 undocumented criminal defendants booked into Texas county jails. These individuals are responsible for at least 447,844 individual criminal charges, including 2,032 homicides and 5,048 sexual assaults.

Criminal organizations and individuals are engaging in the exploitation and trafficking of children for financial gain. These heinous crimes subject children to violence, extortion, forced labor, sexual assault and prostitution. Some children are more vulnerable to exploitation, including undocumented children, as well as those who are lost, missing or abducted. There are currently 76,272 sex offenders registered in Texas, and at least 60,871 of these offenders had a child victim.

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