Mexican criminal groups have dominated the deadly fentanyl market by using innovative strategies and advanced technology, according to current and former law enforcement authorities from Mexico and the US. Cartels such as Sinaloa and Jalisco have evolved into technology-savvy individuals, relying on sophisticated business skills, encrypted communication devices, and social media to recruit dealers and sell drugs across the border into North Texas.
By using the latest technology, criminal organizations can control the import and export of illegal drugs. Social media platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, and WhatsApp are commonly used by these groups, and anyone with a smartphone and Wi-Fi access can connect with them. Drug cartels have also used encryption on major platforms like YouTube to communicate and terrify local populations.
Aileen Teague, an assistant professor at Texas A&M University, suggests that tech companies should regulate fake prescription pill ads on social media. However, with the ever-increasing use of social media and technology, it is difficult to control the flow of illegal drugs across borders. Most drugs, especially fentanyl, are entering the US through ports of entry, bypassing border security and protection.
In 2021, Texas health officials reported an 80% increase in fentanyl-related drug overdoses, resulting in 1,650 deaths. Law enforcement officials consider fentanyl to be the deadliest and most widely available drug in North Texas. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid primarily used as an anesthetic, being fifty to one hundred times more potent than morphine.
The rise of technology has allowed drug cartels to gain notoriety and make billions of dollars from the sale of illicit drugs. According to the US Sentencing Commission, an independent agency of the federal judiciary branch, 86% of individuals convicted of smuggling fentanyl through US ports of entry are Americans. Republican leaders have called for military intervention to take down labs and cartels in Mexico and have suggested walling off Mexico to stop the flow of fentanyl.
– In 2020, 900 Texans died from fentanyl-related overdose.
– Federal prosecutor charged dozens of people for selling fentanyl-laced pills.
– An amount of fentanyl the size of the tip of a sharpened pencil can be lethal.
Mexican drug cartels have gained immense power by incorporating advanced technology and social media into their illegal business. The rise of fentanyl-related deaths is proof that these groups have found innovative methods to bypass border security and distribute their products, highlighting the need for stricter regulations and law enforcement efforts.
The current fentanyl crisis in North Texas is evidence of the enormous power drug cartels possess through their use of technology and social media. To curb the rise of illegal drug sales, lawmakers and law enforcement authorities must develop effective tactics to counteract these increasingly sophisticated criminal organizations. It is crucial to address the root cause of drug trafficking, including the demand for drugs, if we want to put an end to this epidemic.