Two years ago, the National Drug Intelligence Center (now defunct) released a report stating that Mexico’s drug trafficking organizations were active in more than 1,000 U.S. cities, but new statements suggest that these numbers may be exaggerated, according to Fox News Latino.
The NDIC report was based primarily on self-reporting by local police agencies and not documented criminal cases involving Mexican cartels, say law enforcement officials and police experts interviewed by The Washington Post.
The Drug Enforcement Agency refused to release the names of the cities where cartels operate, stating that the matter was “law enforcement sensitive,” the article reports.
At the heart of the debate over the NDIC’s numbers, however, is the definition of “drug cartel.” The NDIC report classified cartels as “transnational criminal organizations” including major, multi-million dollar organizations to traffickers who purchased drugs from cartel associates. This definition could include anyone from Mexico selling small amounts of marijuana in any U.S. city.