The Sinaloa Cartel is reportedly setting its sights on expanding its drug-related business in Alaska, according to a recent report.
Check out this story from USA TODAY: Mexican cartels send drugs into Alaska, spurring death toll
The notorious Sinaloa Cartel and others are pummeling Alaska with deadly fentanyl. Here, they face less competition and can drive up the price.https://t.co/ctH5OegejG
— Dan Free (@Danfreeb) October 9, 2023
The development comes as the U.S. faces a record high of illegal border crossings since 2021, with over 6 million migrants crossings the southern border since President Joe Biden took office. Under Biden’s lax border policies, Mexican cartels have spread their criminal enterprises across the U.S., leading to a fentanyl crisis that has taken the lives of over 100,000 Americans.
The Courier-Journal recently reported that the wave of fentanyl and other illicit drugs has flooded Alaska’s urban areas, such as Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks.
The head of federal criminal prosecutions for Alaska’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, James Klugman, pointed out that the Sinaloa Cartel, among other notorious gangs, realizes it can “make more money selling drugs in Alaska.”
In Alaska, local authorities and healthcare providers have been tasked with the difficult task of combating drug addiction, overdose deaths, and the efforts of drug traffickers to infiltrate The Last Frontier’s remote areas.
“An amount of drugs that wouldn’t even move the needle in big cities like Los Angeles or New York can completely change the life of an entire community in Alaska,” Klugman said.
“What keeps me up at night is the fact that fentanyl is killing our small, most vulnerable communities,” he added. “The opioid crisis is attacking us, and we don’t have enough personnel to effectively combat it.”
In 2021, Alaska experienced a 75% surge in overdose deaths, per the Daily Caller. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that such a spike in deaths was the highest anywhere in the U.S. The CDC also reported that Alaska’s overdose death rate increased in one year from 20.2 to 35.6 per 100,000 residents.
In Alaska’s remote areas, it is difficult to monitor or combat the drug epidemic, according to the Courier-Journal, which reviewed multiple drug cases in the state.
“The opioid crisis has hit hard, and it’s hit close to me,” a lieutenant for the Alaska State Troopers, Cornelius Sims, said. “I have had family members become addicted. I have lost close friends.”
“I’ve seen very vibrant, positive, outgoing individuals from good upbringings go from that to living on the streets homeless, doing whatever they can to survive,” Sims added.