Posted: May 15, 2013 7:13 PM
Updated: May 15, 2013 11:23 PM
HIDALGO COUNTY - Mexican Cartel activity across the United States is being traced back to the Rio Grande Valley, local law enforcement officials said.
San Juan Police Sgt. Rolando Garcia said he spends part of his day researching cartel activity that might have ties to the Valley.
"We are always concerned as to what's going on out of state," San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez said.
Garcia and Gonzalez said cartel operatives often enter the country through the Valley.
"We're trying to get some information as to how they were able to avoid capture in this area and how we can better our resources and our law enforcement practices to stop them," Gonzalez said.
The comments come in the wake of an investigation into a drug ring linked to the Gulf cartel and the Valley.
Court records show that the ringleader, Idalia Ramos Rangel, may be hiding in Matamoros.
Ramos is accused of sending hundreds of pounds of cocaine from Matamoros to places as far away as Illinois. Most of the narcotics, though, were destined for Arkansas.
"What you're doing here is impacting the communities in East Texas, West Texas to all of those states that see a lot of the Mexican drug cartels," Gonzalez said.
Garcia said he reads countless news stories on cartel activity in other parts of the country.