Breaking Down the Mexican Drug Cartels in Montana
The DEA secured 900,000 lethal doses of fentanyl during a recent operation. Stacy Zinn-Brittain is the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Montana and joined us to talk about that news. She also broke down the Mexican drug cartel presence in Montana, particularly when it comes to our American Indian Reservations.
900,000 Lethal Doses of Fentanyl Secured
Stacy Zinn-Brittain: Within the Rocky Mountain Division, which consists of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana- we seized approximately 375,000 fentanyl pills, to include also 25 pounds of powder fentanyl and also around 165 pounds of meth. So accumulative, you think about that- out of those investigations, we had approximately 72 investigations targeting strictly the cartels throughout the whole division. That means that we are seeing an uptick of cartel action not only in Colorado, but also in Wyoming and all the way up here in Montana.
Mexican Drug Cartel Presence in Montana
Stacy Zinn-Brittain: We used to always hear whispers of Sinaloa Cartel being on the reservations. We have confidential sources that have told us that the Sinaloa monitors the reservations. However; just recently we see actual footprints of CJNG that has come on to the reservation and they are more overt. Whereas; the Sinaloa Cartel is more- they call them like the button down cartel now because Los Chapitos are the ones that are controlling the organization- it's split in half. Sinaloa was split in half between Los Chapitos and Mayo Zambada. So it's a different type of philosophy nowadays, but CJNG is now coming into the area they are actually trafficking on our reservations and they're more overt.
How Can You Spot a Cartel Member Compared to a Migrant Worker? (Q from listener)
Stacy Zinn-Brittain: That's a loaded question. I've seen them here actually in Yellowstone County where you see maybe six of them, what I call the advanced team. They'll come in, they'll take a look around. They will be dressed differently. They'll be a little bit more flashier. They will have certain type of boots on, certain designer jeans. More of the bling. They walk with confidence, and they're scanning the area and they're trying to determine is this where I want to set up the next sale. Versus the migrant worker where it's a very humble individual, not the flashy clothing...
Full audio with Stacy Zinn-Brittain:
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