According to a report released today, almost two-thirds of criminal activity in Texas is gang related and Mexican cartels are now recruiting school-age children.
“Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment,” an independent study, former generals Barry McCaffrey and Major-General Robert Scales, was released at the Protect Your Texas Border Summit at the state capital.
The much anticipated study reveals that drug cartels are now recruiting our Texas children with significant investments for their criminal gang activities.
“They want these kids to do the dirty work,” a 30-something Hispanic male, Joe (not his real name), who claims to be a former gang member told the Examiner.
“They are sacrificial,” Joe explained. “They pay them $500 or $1000 to cross the border into Texas because they know the patrol doesn’t think American kids are going to smuggle that much drugs in, but with that kind of money, and excitement, they can find students willing to do it.”
“When the other kids see someone driving a car and spending money and buying their girlfriends jewelry and clothes, it’s not hard to recruit others,” Joe said.
In the last 18 months, six of seven cartels have established headquarters in Texas cities, according to testimony form the Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McGraw.
At least 22 murders, 24 assaults, 15 shootings and five kidnappings have been traced to cartel activities on the Texas side of the border during since January 2010.
Joe says “these cartels are very sophisticated and are run like a military or a business.”
“They provide ‘insurance’ to the farmers,” Joe outlined. “If the farmers continue to harvest and provide marijuana for a very cheap price, then their wives and children will continue to live. That is Mexican cartel ‘insurance.’”
“They pay a few dollars for a pound of marijuana,” said Joe. “They have up to six levels of people on their payroll who make sure it gets into the U.S. cities because they can sell it in San Antonio or Houston for like $250 or $300 a pound, but in New York or Chicago, it might be $1500 or $1600, and that’s a big profit that no one is going to stop as long as the U.S. allows them to keep on going.”
The generals’ report, released today states the cartels objectives “are relying increasingly on organized gangs to provide expendable and unaccountable manpower to do their dirty work.”
“These gangs are recruited on the streets of Texas cities and inside Texas prisons by top-tier gangs who work in conjunction with the cartels,” the report continued.
The Department of Public Safety says that within the last year, the Texas prison gangs associated with the Mexican cartels has increased from four to 12.
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