In September 2014, more than 1,000 federal and local agents raided 75 different locations in Los Angeles’ fashion district. They seized around $90 million, most of it in bulk cash, from the Sinaloa Cartel. Authorities claim it was the biggest money seizure in U.S. history.
The operation was proof that the criminal organization is running business as usual, even after the arrest of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman in February. At the time, Guzman was one of the most wanted men in the world and the ruthless leader of a cartel with billions of dollars in revenue.
“Anytime you take one of the leading criminals in the world off the streets, you see tremendous damages at all levels of the organization,” said Jack Riley, Chief of Operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Authorities claim that there has been push-back against the cartel on both sides of the border, particularly on the money laundering front. This has forced criminals to explore alternatives ways to send its narco-dollars to Mexico.
Correspondent Mike Kirsch examined the issue in this feature documentary for Americas Now.