The Mexican Cartels dominate the lucrative U.S. drug and human smuggling market and use the billions in profits to battle each other and the Government of Mexico to maintain control or expand their smuggling operations into the U.S. Approximately 95 percent of the estimated cocaine flow toward the United States transits the Mexico-Central America corridor from its origins in South America which generates billions in profit each year.
Mexico is also a major supplier of heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine to the United States. Mexico‘s share of global poppy production has been increasing in recent years; estimates show that Mexico surpassed Burma as the world‘s second largest poppy cultivator in 2009. U.S. Government estimates for 2009 indicate that marijuana cultivation in Mexico increased by more than 45 percent.1 Mexican Cartels continue to rely primarily on California and South Texas ports of entry (POEs) to smuggle cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine across the border and on remote areas between POEs.
Mexican Cartels use U. S. based gangs to support their criminal operations on both sides of the border.
As part of a multi agency effort, DPS has collected the amount of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine seized by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies along the major smuggling corridors and within the 53 counties that comprise the border region and the coastal corridor since 2006. The cost of drugs is calculated based on the most recent price information available for multiple locations in Texas, as listed by the National Drug Intelligence Center.
Drug Seizures April 2006 - September 2015
|Drug||Total (lbs)||Street Price|
This website reflects the known current bulk value for the narcotics from the NDIC. This value can reflect a wider range using older estimates from the NDIC over various years of data, or by dosage unit size for higher street values.
Marijuana Seizures as of April 30, 2012
Cocaine Seizures as of April 30, 2012
Methamphetamine Seizures as of April 30, 2012
Heroin Seizures as of April 30, 2012
Smugglers are becoming more innovative about hiding drugs in hollow compartments in vehicles and other items.
Texas Highway Patrol seized $447,981 in currency and a pistol during a traffic stop. The currency was concealed in false compartment in the floor of a pickup. The male driver and female passenger were traveling on US-59S from Houston, TX, to McAllen, TX.
Texas Highway Patrol seized 51.2 lbs of cocaine concealed in a false compartment in the rear deck of an SUV. The driver was traveling from Alton, TX on US-59 to Houston, TX.
A Trooper was on routine patrol in Wharton county on US-59 when he stopped tractor trailer for driving on improved shoulder and improper/defective mud flap. Trooper observed several signs of criminal activity. Verbal consent to search was asked for and received. Upon search of trailer trooper located 42 bundles of suspected marijuana co-mingled in the load.
On 11/28/11, at 10:15am, a Trooper stopped a truck towing a trailer on US 281 in San Manuel, for a unsecured load. During the interview, the Trooper observed indicators of criminal activity. Consent to search was requested and granted.
During the search, the Trooper found two wooden compartments of marijuana hidden in between the load of hay, weighing 1735 LBS.
On 1/12/12, a Trooper on routine patrol on FM 490 – Hidalgo county, made contact with a driver that had exited a vehicle. The Trooper requested identification from the driver and the driver fled on foot.
The Trooper saw marijuana in plain view in the vehicle.
Further investigation revealed the vehicle was a cloned AT&T work truck containing 2,168 pounds of marijuana in all storage compartments, inkling the front seat and floorboard.
A Trooper was on routine patrol and noticed a white flatbed pulling a gooseneck trailer. After 15-20 minutes, he saw another trailer pass by with the same company markings. He noticed this was not a company he had seen operating in the area before. He made a traffic stop and noticed discrepancies and criminal indicators. He called a second Trooper and gave him a description of the vehicles.
The Trooper made a traffic stop and the driver of the second vehicle had a criminal history. The Trooper was able to find hidden crates concealed in the load. Both vehicles had the same type of compartment concealing the drugs. The total drugs seized was 8,509 pounds of marijuana.
DPS Press release regarding seizures made by DPS and our partners
1 State Dept INCSR 2011
As drugs are flowing into the US, cash is flowing out. Estimates for the amount of cash that travels from the United States to Mexico to fuel the criminal operations of drug cartels range from $19 billion to $29 billion each year.3
Operation Border Star Currency Seizures
(April 2006 - September 2015)
|Total Amount Seized
|2006 (April 1- Dec 31)||$10,939,258|
Cash Seizures as of April 30, 2012
Since 2009, 5,877 weapons have been seized in Texas by participants in Operation Border Star.