The Sinaloa Cartel and others from Mexico have allegedly set their sights on expanding their drug-related business in Alaska, according to a report published Sept. 28.
The wave of fentanyl and other illicit narcotics has inundated Alaska‘s urban areas, with Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks grappling with the drug crisis, according to reports from both state and federal law enforcement agencies. The latest development poses unique challenges for law enforcement and those battling the drug trade, Courier Journal reported, and due to its remote and often inaccessible nature, the competition among criminal networks for customers is significantly reduced.
“All the drug dealers are aware they can make more money selling drugs in Alaska,” James Klugman, head of federal criminal prosecutions for Alaska’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, said in a statement.
Targeting ‘The Last Frontier’: Mexican cartels send drugs into Alaska, upping death toll https://t.co/DfGJLLR9ua
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) October 9, 2023
Local authorities and healthcare providers are battling against the grim toll of addiction, overdose deaths, and the relentless efforts of drug traffickers to penetrate even the most remote corners of Alaska. “An amount of drugs that wouldn’t even move the needle in big cities like Los Angeles or New York can completely change the life of an entire community in Alaska,” Klugman said.
Alaska has experienced a staggering 75% surge in overdose deaths in 2021. The spike in overdose fatalities stands as the most significant percentage increase witnessed anywhere in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This alarming development has now contributed to the already distressing national death toll, which, as per the CDC’s estimate, now looms ominously at nearly 107,000 lives lost, Courier Journal added. (RELATED: Public School Teacher Who Had A Secret Double Life Killed In Shootout With Drug Cartel Members)
“Drug Kingpin” associated with the Sinaloa Cartel operating out of Sonora, Mexico, is arrested and faces 17-count indictment for his leadership role in trafficking narcotics directly to Alaska. https://t.co/spprHLGYXl @FBIAnchorage @DEAAnchorage @AnchoragePolice @akstatetrooper
— U.S. Attorney Alaska (@USAO_AK) September 15, 2021
The local authorities have been cracking down on the cartel through the years. In September of 2021, Mexican immigration authorities arrested and deported a U.S. citizen named Miguel Guevara back to America, the United States Attorney’s Office District Of Alaska reported. He was indicted on 17 counts for his alleged role in trafficking narcotics from Mexico to Alaska.
Guevara reportedly started operating and transporting heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico to Alaska back in 2016. It was revealed that the group targeted the state since they have received larger profits in the area. The indictment and arrest of Guevara were part of the “ongoing, largescale drug trafficking investigation,” the press release further added.