25 Arrested in Texas Mexican Mafia Bust

By Chrisanne Grise 06/21/13

Law enforcement cracks down on a powerful prison gang with ties to Mexican drug cartels.

Some Mexican Mafia members in a Texas
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Authorities have arrested 25 members of The Texas Mexican Mafia—also known as "La eMe"—a powerful prison gang with ties to a Mexican drug cartel. With an estimated 6,000 members, they are considered one of the biggest gang threats to the state. After a four-year investigation, authorities arrested the 25 yesterday on charges of smuggling drugs across south Texas. Agents from the FBI and US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) say the Texas Mexican Mafia operates mainly in Laredo, Texas—the busiest land port along the border—and distributes drugs in San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi. The cash is then sent to the gang’s associates in Mexico. The Laredo chapter of the gang is charged with money laundering, along with heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking. Armando Fernandez, special agent in charge of the FBI's San Antonio Division, hopes these arrests will serve as a warning to the Mexican cartels, who often infiltrate prisons and enlist gangs to help them traffic drugs in the US. Says Fernandez: "These arrests today should send a clear message to the Texas Mexican Mafia, and other suspected criminal organizations, that law enforcement will not tolerate their alleged violent acts and trafficking of dangerous drugs in our community."

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices, AbsolutePunk.net, Chorus.fm, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.